Who Will Win the 2021 Nobel Prize in Literature?

Annie Ernaux (French memoirist, 9–1 odds) Lyudmila Ulitskaya (Russian novelist, 11–1 odds) Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o (Kenyan novelist and perennial Nobel bridesmaid; 11–1 odds)Maryse Condé (Guadeloupean novelist; 15–1 odds) Nuruddin Farah (Somali novelist; 17–1 odds) 

Can Xue (Chinese novelist; 21–1 odds) Yan Lianke (Chinese novelist; 21–1 oddsScholastique Mukasonga (French-Rwandan novelist; 26–1 odds)Xi Xi (Chinese novelist; 26–1 odds) Yu Hua (Chinese novelist; 34–1 odds)

Jon Fosse (The Norwegian’s Norwegian; 15–1 odds)Javier Marias (Leg guy; 17–1 odds) Hélène Cixous (One of the millions of French literary theorists; 17–1 odds) Dubravka Ugrešić (Croatian writer who gets mad when you call her a Croatian writer; 17–1 odds) Edna O’Brien (Irish novelist I have been trying to come up with a joke about for six years; 26–1 odds)Botho Strauss (German playwright who is a little too concerned with questions of blood and ethnicity; 33–1 odds)  Milan Kundera (Living novelist most likely to publish a posthumous book-length screed against cancel culture; no odds)Ivan Klíma (Philip Roth’s Czech wingman; no odds) Mircea Cărtărescu (Romanian novelist who I will personally will toward a Nobel Prize; no odds)Ismail Kadare (A founding member of the all-powerful Albanian Alliance, alongside Dua Lipa, Rita Ora, and Bebe Rexha; no odds)László Krasznahorkai (Second-most demanding Hungarian novelist in translation; no odds)Péter Nádas (Most demanding Hungarian novelist in translation; no odds) 

Michel Houellebecq (Living novelist most likely to publish a book-length screed against cancel culture like next week; 21–1 odds)Karl Ove Knausgaard (Frequent interview subject; 26–1 odds)Sally Rooney (Infrequent interview subject; no odds)Elena Ferrante (Increasingly frequent interview subject; no odds)

Hilary Mantel (Writer of the Marvel Cinematic Universe but for even more humorless nerds—historians; 34–1 odds)Salman Rushdie (First but definitely not the last Nobel contender with a Substack; 51–1 odds)Martin Amis (The Nobel Committee should wait until his “two longish stories, one about lynching and one about slavery just before the Civil War” are published; 51–1 odds)Ian McEwan (Novelist most likely to publish books narrated by a ferret, a Cambridge Analytica algorithm, and the Constitutional Reform Act 2005, respectively; no odds)Julian Barnes (Subtle, erudite, and cosmopolitan English novelist—all qualities that make him unlikely to win this year; no odds) Tom Stoppard (Guy who wrote the weird father-son-Nazi love-triangle stuff in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade; no odds) David Mitchell (Second-best David Mitchell; no odds) J.K. Rowling (The “J.K.” stands for “Joyce Karen”; no odds)  

Jamaica Kincaid (Antiguan-American novelist and plant enthusiast; 13–1 odds)Don DeLillo (Would benefit from some good publicity before the Noah Baumbach adaptation of White Noise is released; 17–1 odds)Cormac McCarthy (Ridley Scott collaborator; 34–1 odds)Marilynne Robinson (The fading paint on a Lutheran church, somewhere between Des Moines and Iowa City; 34–1 odds) William T. Vollmann (Where would they even reach him to give him the news? An abandoned signal tower somewhere in the Mazatzal Mountains? A defunct message board dedicated to daguerrotype pornography? 51–1 odds)Stephen King (Founding member of the Rock Bottom Remainders; 51–1 odds) Thomas Pynchon (Would win if there were a God, but God is dead; no odds) Joan Didion (First but definitely not the last Nobel contender with their face on a popular tote bag; no odds)Joyce Carol Oates (Plastic skeleton critic; no odds) Francis Fukuyama (Extreme plastic skeleton critic; no odds)Jonathan Franzen (Please rate “Mr. Difficult” five stars on Apple Podcasts; no odds)Dave Eggers (A shoo-in for the Nobel Prize in #Resistance literature; no odds)

Margaret Atwood (Even she didn’t realize Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale was now on season 5; 11–1 odds) 

Haruki Murakami (T-shirt anthologist; 5–1 odds)Ko Un (Canceled South Korean poet; 34–1 odds) 

Anne Carson (Canadian poet, playwright, translator, essayist, ancient deity, shadow on the wall, copse of trees swaying gently in the wind, 8–1 odds) Charles Simic (American poet; 26–1 odds) Homero Aridjis (Mexican poet; 26–1 odds)
Linton Kwesi Johnson (Jamaican dub poet; 34–1 odds) 

Mia Couto (Mozambican novelist; 21–1 odds) Ivan Vladislavic (South African novelist; 26–1 odds) Zoë Wicomb (South African novelist; 33–1 odds) Ibrahim Kuni (Libyan novelist; no odds)Adonis (Syrian poet; no odds) Sonallah Ibrahim (Egyptian novelist; no odds) Banana Yoshimoto (Japanese novelist; no odds) Hoda Barakat (Lebanese novelist; no odds) F. Sionil José  (Filipino novelist; no odds) Mahmoud Dowlatabadi (Iranian novelist; no odds) Dương Thu Hương (Vietnamese novelist; no odds) Ayi Kwei Armah (Ghanian novelist; no odds) Alain Mabanckou (French-Congolese novelist; no odds) Ama Ata Aidoo (Ghanian novelist; no odds) Bảo Ninh (Vietnamese novelist; no odds) Emmanuel Dongala (Congolese novelist; no odds) Someone not mentioned on this list from a country not mentioned on this list (2–1 odds) 

2021-10-05 | Books, Culture, critical mass | English |