Odds favor Amos Oz for Nobel Prize in Literature

It depends on which set of odds-makers you trust most. Online betting site Unibet favors Israeli author Amos Oz to be the winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, scheduled to be announced tomorrow, Oct. 9, in Stockholm. Ladbrokes, a competing site, sees Italian Claudio Magris as the most likely candidate.

Both agencies put Syrian-born poet Adonis (Ali Ahmad Said Asbar) in second place.

Last week, Pulitzer judge and Swedish literary critic Horace Engdahl upset the world of American letters by suggesting that US writers are "too isolated, too insular" to be Nobel winners. But a few American names remain on the lists of the odds-makers, nonetheless. Ladbrokes gives Joyce Carol Oates and Philip Roth a 6 to 1 chance of winning, while Don DeLillo is predicted to have an 8 to 1 chance.

Oz (who was born Amos Klausner in 1939) is a novelist, journalist, and essayist. He is a professor of literature at Ben-Gurion University in Be'er Sheva and a prominent advocate of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Adonis (also known as Said) is viewed as a pioneer of modern Arabic poetry.

Magris is a novelist, scholar, translator, and writer. He is also a professor of Modern German Literature at the University of Trieste. His best known novel, "Danube," follows the Danube river from its source in what once was the Austro-Hungarian Empire through the Balkans to the Black Sea. Critics have called the book an evocative portrait of Central Europe.

The last US writer to win the award was Toni Morrison in 1993. Last year's literature award went to British writer Doris Lessing.

Secrecy over the prize has been extra-tight this  year, some say. So all speculation may come to naught.

But here's a fairly safe bet: Bob Dylan (odds listed as 150 to 1) is probably not going to make it.

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