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Speculation About Ngugi wa Thiong’o's Possible Nobel Prize in Literature Win Abounds

Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, arguably one of Africa’s greatest writers, has long been regarded as a candidate for the Nobel Prize in Literature, but this year speculation about the possibility of him winning the award has reached a new high.

In the House of the InterpreterA Grain of WheatThe River BetweenWeep Not, ChildPetals of BloodDreams in a Time of WarWizard of the CrowA Grain of Wheat
While Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami is the frontrunner on the British betting site Ladbrokes, Alexander Nazaryan of The Atlantic Wire reports that there was recently an increase in bets placed on Wa Thiong’o and that a large sum came from a Swedish source. This leads Nazaryan to speculate that the Swedish bet might be a result of leaked information as the Swedish Academy awards the Nobel Prize.

The winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature, won last year by Chinese novelist Mo Yan, will be announced in October.

We qualify this post with the disclaimer that nobody will truly know who wins the Nobel Prize for Literature until the Swedish Academy announces the laureate one fine October morning (the secretive Swedes don’t even reveal the date in advance). As such, what precedes the news is largely guesswork. The winner could be Philip Roth, finally. Or a Romanian neo-absurdist playwright you’ve never read. Or, heck, Snooki. The point is, nobody knows anything.

And yet. And yet.

Ngugi wa Thiong’o is East Africa’s greatest living writer, and one of Africa’s top five. And since 2010, the man whose books were banned by the government, but one – The River Between – is now part of literature syllabus, has once again been tipped as one of the top five nominees for the 2013 Nobel Prize for Literature – if not the presumed winner, already.

The website of the University of California at Irvine where Ngugi teaches English and Comparative Literature is riding on the predictions: “Will the Nobel prize for literature go to Kenya’s Ngugi wa Thiong’o?”

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Recent comments:

  • Ben - Editor
    Ben - Editor
    September 16th, 2013 @15:17 #

    Go Wizard of the Crow!

  • <a href="" rel="nofollow">Helen</a>
    September 16th, 2013 @15:46 #

    *crosses fingers and toes*

  • <a href="" rel="nofollow">Liesl</a>
    September 16th, 2013 @18:40 #

    Hoping, hoping. May it be...

  • <a href="" rel="nofollow">Kelwyn Sole</a>
    Kelwyn Sole
    September 16th, 2013 @20:38 #

    I wish I could be so enthusiastic. I have a niggling worry about an author who is prepared to change things in his published novels, as (presumably) a response to public critical remarks or publisher pressure (The River Bteween; A Grain of Wheat). IMO if it's out there, leave it.


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