For Peace Prize punters, here are the latest odds fr0m NicerOdds.co.uk. For some reason, I don’t see Clock Boy’s name on the Peace Prize list, although I had him down as a sure bet for the Physics Nobel for inventing Time, so what do I know?
Dr. Mukwege sounds like he’d be a worthy winner. From Wikipedia:
Denis Mukwege (born 1 March 1955) is a Congolese gynecologist. He founded and works in Panzi Hospital in Bukavu, where he specializes in the treatment of women who have been gang-raped by rebel forces. Mukwege has become the world’s leading expert on how to repair the internal physical damage caused by gang rape.
Mukwege has treated thousands of women who were victims of gang wartime rape since the Second Congo War, some of them more than once, performing up to 10 surgeries a day during his 18-hour working days.
Speaking of gang rape, how about Alexis Jay, who wrote the 2014 Rotherham Report that finally broke the omerta in England?
Mussie Zerai is an Eritrean priest who helps organize the Camp of the Saints, even though there’s no war in Eritrea. Speaking of the Camp of the Saints, how about Jean Raspail for giving us a 42-years to prepare? Granted, we totally frittered it away, but still …
You’ve probably heard of Angela Merkel.
By the time you’ll read this, you’ll probably know who won, but it’s fun to look at old odds. How well did the prediction markets work out this time, Professor Hanson?
For some reason, I don’t see Ta-Nehisi Coates on the list, but then I had him down for Medicine/Physiology for being the world’s leading expert on Black Bodies, so what do I know?
For the Literature Prize, it looks like there’s a Year of the Woman thing going on.
Joyce Carol Oates is an excellent writer but she’s highly prolific, which usually counts as a detriment in winning the Nobel. And she has been publishing books since 1963. American authors usually don’t win lifetime achievement awards, since they don’t lack for opportunities for publicity. To win, they’re usually expected to sober up and write something better than their recent stuff, like The Old Man and Sea helped Hemingway garner his gong.
I haven’t heard a theory about why Oates is so highly ranked this year, but I’ll make up one: giving her the award would strike a blow against the male-biased notion that important writers should write important books that stand out. Oates would represent all the productive female novelists who write lots and lots of novels without a lot of drama about Promethean ambitions.
That’s probably not the worst theory in the world for justifying a Nobel.
Or maybe she’s near the top because she’s on Twitter? (Here are the Nobel candidate’s sensible tweets on Donald Sterling.)
Or maybe sozzled English punters keep hearing from America about the transcendent literary importance of Ta-Nehisi Coates and thinking, reasonably enough, that the Americans must be referring to Joyce Carole Oates? Coates, Oates, let’s call the whole thing off …
Dwight Garner of the NYT would like to see win J.P. Donleavy, who, amazingly enough, is still alive 60 years after publishing The Ginger Man, a novel that inspired everybody from Hunter S. Thompson to Colin Quinn to take up drunkenness as the key to being a Celtic bard.
Obviously, the Literature Award is a near total-crapshoot because how valid are opinions on literary merit across multiple languages? But, if the Nobel Committee wants to be relevant, the novelist who has dominated 2015 is this guy.