Svetlana Alexievich wins the 2015 Literature Nobel Prize!

Svetlana Alexievich wins the 2015 Literature Nobel Prize! Guys, let me have this one. This is the closest I ever came to getting it right. Did I wake up with a feeling Oates might win? Sure. Did none of my actual picks make it? Yeah. BUT LOOK AT THIS. I think we can agree I practically got it right. Also, I picked up 4 of her books from the library last weekend. HOW’s THAT FOR PRESCIENT. Meanwhile, if you want more than my desperate/sad gloating here’s a piece on Alexievich from last year’s New Yorker called “Nonfiction deserves a Nobel“, by Philip Gourevitch. Meanwhile, much as I was very happy about the award, the aftermath is starting to feel a bit like the aftermath of last year’s Nobel award. While last year, book journos were quick to proclaim the greatness of Modiano (I don’t agree), this year, they are wringing a kind of significance out of this award that I just don’t see. Gourevich and other reporters are understandably happy. But articles like Why Svetlana Alexievich’s Nobel Prize Is Good for Literature by Jonathon Sturgeon are unconvincing and bad. And I can see more of that to come.

3 thoughts on “Svetlana Alexievich wins the 2015 Literature Nobel Prize!

  1. Don’t think I didn’t notice – impressive. I’ll be back next year for your predictions, and may bring along some cash to put down with a bookie (kidding, but that does make me wonder if anywhere in the gambling world people actually place bets on the Nobel; I mean, they bet on just about everything else…).

    • Betting? Oh, yes. Plenty, actually. There’s a lovely essay in Vulture called My Book-Prize Betting Addiction: A User’s Guide to Making Money Off Alice Munro, which I recommend enthusiastically! The Ladbrokes odds are tricky though, as this article explains

      The problem with Ladbrokes’s Nobel odds, however, is that they aren’t particularly accurate. The favorite has only won the prize once in the last eleven years, when Orhan Pamuk won in 2006. Since 2004, the favorite has typically been one of a handful of popular candidates: Roth has led the pack before, while Murakami and the Syrian poet Adonis have each been the favorite on three separate occasions each.

  2. I had no idea. That article is illuminating. I’ll be in London later this year, so maybe I’ll stop by Ladbrokes and see who’s racing in what book awards. Heck, you should offer your services as an odds-maker.

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