Ngugi wa Thiong’o tipped for 2014 Nobel prize in literature

Alison Flood in The Guardian:

Ngugi-wa-Thiongo-011A run of bets originating in Sweden has seen the odds plummet on Ngugi wa Thiong'o, the distinguished Kenyan author, winning the Nobel prize for literature next month. The chances of the recently-retired Philip Roth taking the Nobel have also fallen dramatically, according to betting firm Ladbrokes.

Ladbrokes said that odds on Ngugi being named winner of the world's most prestigious literary award, given out every October in Stockholm, had shortened from 33/1 to 10/1. “It's always worth following the Swedish money and at this stage the one they like is Ngugi wa Thiong'o,” said spokesman for the betting firm Alex Donohue. Ngugi's books include Caitani Mutharabaini (Devil on the Cross), a novel written on toilet paper while he was imprisoned following the performance of his play, Ngaahika Ndeenda (I Will Marry When I Want), which was critical of the inequalities of Kenyan society. He had been a favourite to take the Nobel in 2010, but that year the prize went to Mario Vargas Llosa. Tomas Tranströmer, 2010's fourth favourite to win, went on to take the Nobel in 2011.

Favourite this year, according to Ladbrokes' odds, is Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami at 5/1,with Ngugi in joint second place with Algerian novelist Assia Djebar. Roth, who recently announced his happy retirement from the world of novel writing, comes in at 16/1, as do the feted Czech writer Milan Kundera, and the Syrian poet, Adonis.

More here.

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