Syrian poet Adonis leads the pack in betting for 2011 Nobel Prize in Literature winner
Thomas Pynchon is the American author closest to top, but still considered a long shot with odds of 16 to 1.
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Controversy arose over the prize in 2008 when Horace Engdahl, the permanent secretary of the Nobel prize jury, said American writers are less likely to win the literature prize because the American writing community is too isolated from the rest of the world.Skip to next paragraph
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“The US is too isolated, too insular," Engdahl said. "They don't translate enough and don't really participate in the big dialogue of literature. That ignorance is restraining. You can't get away from the fact that Europe still is the center of the literary world, not the United States.”
Many members of the American literary community were offended by the remarks.
“You would think that the permanent secretary of an academy that pretends to wisdom but has historically overlooked Proust, Joyce, and Nabokov, to name just a few non-Nobelists, would spare us the categorical lectures," said editor of The New Yorker David Remnick at the time.
Farran-Lee told the AFP he thinks writers like Cormac McCarthy may not win the prize because their works are actually too well-known.
“The whole idea of the prize is not to be mainstream,” he said.
Each Nobel Prize includes a $1.3 million purse, a gold medal, and a diploma. The awards – including those for physiology, physics, chemistry, peace, and economics – are handed out each year on Dec. 10, the anniversary of prize founder Alfred Nobel's death in 1896.
Molly Driscoll is a Monitor contributor.