, STOCKHOLM, Sweden, Oct 8 – Svetlana Alexievich of Belarus is among the bookies’ favourites for Thursday’s Nobel Prize in Literature but could see herself snubbed by the Swedish Academy, the awarding body that likes to surprise.
Alexievich is the top choice among literary observers, on betting sites and for a Swedish cat whose owner is hoping for a Paul the Octopus moment after it picked the Belarusian for this year’s prize on a TV programme.
Other names mentioned this year, but who were bypassed by Moki the cat, are Americans Joyce Carol Oates and Philip Roth, and Kenya’s Ngugi wa Thiong’o.
“Her work is on the border between documentary and novel, a genre that hasn’t been rewarded,” said Bjorn Wiman, the culture editor of Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter.
He is not the only expert to suggest the writer, who was recently reissued in Swedish, could win.
“I want Svetlana Alexievich to win for her visionary and hopeful journalism,” journalist Maria Lundstrom said in a video posted on the Instagram account of public broadcaster Swedish Radio.