Nobel Prize in Literature to be announced

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The winner of the 2015 Nobel Prize in Literature is expected to be announced Thursday at 1100 GMT by the Swedish Academy.

This year the academy has considered 198 nominees, of whom 36 were first-time contenders.

Favourites in the run-up to the announcement included Ngugi wa Thiong’o of Kenya, Svetlana Alexievich of Belarus, Syrian-born poet Adonis (Ali Ahmad Said Asbar), Norwegian author Jon Fosse and Haruki Murakami of Japan.

Literary experts and gaming firms all compile lists of potential winners, but since the academy does not publish a short list, guesswork is tricky.

Last year, Patrick Modiano of France won the award.

Joyce Carol Oates and Philip Roth were considered to have the best chances among US authors to win the prize, according to the British gaming company Ladbrokes. The most recent winner from the United States was Toni Morrison in 1993.

Thursday’s announcement will be historic as Permanent Secretary Sara Danius, who will read out the decision, will make her debut. In June she became the first female head of the academy in more than 200 years.

Nobel Prizes this year have already been awarded in the fields of medicine, physics, chemistry. The week-long announcements of the winners began Monday and will continue through October 12, with awards in peace and economics still to come.

With the exception of economics, the prizes were endowed by Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel (1833-96), the inventor of dynamite.

This year, the prizes are each worth 8 million kronor (956,000 dollars). The awards are presented every year on December 10, the anniversary of Nobel’s death.

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