Stockholm literary circles have suggested that the great political event of this year, the Arab Spring, may influence the decision of the Swedish Academy, and therefore Adonis, a France-based Syrian poet whose name has come up repeatedly in the last few years may have good chances to win the prize. In June Adonis (Ali Ahmed Said) published an open letter in a Lybian newspaper to Bashar al-Assad, urging the Syrian president to end the bloody repression. “It's time for a poet and the Mideast. So who would be better than Adonis?” said Nicklas Björkholm, manager of Hedengren's, one of Stockholm's biggest bookstores. However, there are opinions that after Mario Vargas Llosa the academy will not opt for a writer who is too much involved in politics.
Besides Adonis, potential winners include Péter Nádas, Swedish poet Tomas Tranströmer, Kenya’s Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Somalian author Nuruddin Farah, Korean poet Ko Un, Haruki Murakami of Japan, India’s Vijaydan Detha and Australian Les Murray, Israeli author Amos Oz as well as US writers Joyce Carol Oates, Philip Roth and Cormac McCarthy.
The decision about the prize is expected to be revealed on 6 October, but no exact date has been announced yet. The laureate will receive 10 million Swedish kronor ($1.48 million, €1.08 million).
Website of the Nobel Prize in Literature
Betting odds for the Nobel Prize in Literature at Ladbrokes
Some discussions and speculations: at World Literature Forum, Words Without Borders, Fictional Woods