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Thread: The Next Generation: Future Nobel Prizewinners?

  1. #21
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    Default Re: The Next Generation: Future Nobel Prizewinners?

    I think that Granta novelists are a leap in the dark. Since Rausing bought the mag, the authors seem to have each written less and less. One day, someone who has written only one five-page postmodernist examination of his big toe will be suggested as winner of the next Nobel. And the next. Then Siegfried Rausing will suggest that the greatest author of all is... Siegfried Rausing for writing 108 words on sheets of toilet paper about a sexually ambivalent daffodil that took over the world by living in a milk carton and speaking Swedish to passers-by. The Nobel's Swedish, Siegfried's Swedish, what more do you want? A Swedish Nobel winner, of course! Haven't had one for ages.

  2. #22
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    Default Re: The Next Generation: Future Nobel Prizewinners?

    Some new Asian names here.

  3. #23

    Default Re: The Next Generation: Future Nobel Prizewinners?

    Future Nobel Prizewinners? Doubtful. But this is a good excuse to mention the names of some younger writers, that is people in their thirties or forties, who have published interesting fiction (some of them already have a rather long list of published novels).

    Here's a short list of people I have been reading and that I find interesting:

    Rachel Cusk (Canadian born, lives in England)
    Sarah Waters (Welsh)
    Ali Smith (Scottish)
    Diana Abu-Jader (American)
    ZZ Packer (American)
    Junot Diaz (American)
    Daniel Alarcon (American)

  4. #24
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    Default Re: The Next Generation: Future Nobel Prizewinners?

    I was really impressed by Drown by Junot Diaz even though I rarely read short story collections. Your list also reminds me that I've had a copy of Sarah Waters' Tipping the Velvet ​sitting unread on my bookshelf for at least ten years.

  5. #25

    Default Re: The Next Generation: Future Nobel Prizewinners?

    I never read Tipping the Velvet, actually. Fingersmith I thought was good, and The Night Watch very good. The Little Stranger rather disappointed me.

  6. #26
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    Default Re: The Next Generation: Future Nobel Prizewinners?

    I mentioned her already on the Nobel speculation thread, but again:
    Marie NDiaye

    Her Trois Femmes Puissantes is very good stuff and it also just came out in English as Three Strong Women fas far as I know.

  7. #27
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    Default Re: The Next Generation: Future Nobel Prizewinners?

    Quote Originally Posted by maidenhair View Post
    I mentioned her already on the Nobel speculation thread, but again:
    Marie NDiaye

    Her Trois Femmes Puissantes is very good stuff and it also just came out in English as Three Strong Women as far as I know.
    Thank you for recommending NDiaye. She goes to the top of my TBR list, as soon as I finish Wizard of the Crow.
    At our (Cough competition Cough) sister site, the allegedly fabricated woods, somebody posted a list from a German publication: a chronologically presented canon of European Literature since WWII, one book per author, ten books per decade. Give or take a handful of authors that were missing (Perec, Saramago, Kadare, Magris, Cartarescu) the members of that forum gruntingly accepted the list's choices, which is impressive considering the differences there must be between the good available translations at Germany and USA /UK /former commonwealth.
    Anyway, the last book listed was Trois Femmes Puissantes.
    I'm setting aside to read another book from that list Tokarczuk's Bieguni (translated into French as "Les Peregrines").
    Olga Tokarczuk (born 1962) has already won some big international prizes: the Brücke Berlin-Preis (Krasznahorkai and Peter Nadas are the two last winners) and the Samuel-Bogumil-Linde-Preis (past winners include Szymborska, Grass, Zbigniew Herbert, Lenz, Mrozek, Lipska, Christa Wolf, Zagajewski and Herta Muller), so she may also be a future contender for the Nobel Prize.

  8. #28
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    Default Re: The Next Generation: Future Nobel Prizewinners?

    If I must give some names :

    Elif SHAFAK of Turkey
    Thomas GLAVINIC of Austria
    Ben OKRI and Buchi EMECHETA of United Kinggdom

    and many, many others...

  9. #29
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    Default Re: The Next Generation: Future Nobel Prizewinners?

    Quote Originally Posted by Septularisen View Post
    Ben OKRI and Buchi EMECHETA of United Kinggdom
    I thought Ben Okri was Nigerian rather than British... Under the Nobel thread itself I already mentioned Arnon Grunberg (41) who should defenitely be mentioned in a discussion like this. Another Dutch 'young' talent (my personal favorite) is Tommy Wieringa (45). Who knows, one day... If only he were a bit more productive.

  10. #30
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    Default Re: The Next Generation: Future Nobel Prizewinners?

    Since technically next year's Nobel prize is the future, I'm gonna put down who I could see winning it next year.

    Chances are it will go to a woman, since they've been going out of their way somewhat recently to give it to them, and they haven't given it to a woman since 2009, the longest they've gone since 2000 without awarding it to one.

    I think it will be either Assia Djebar or Margaret Atwood. Djebar I think is a citizen of France, which could give her an edge with the academy. It would also be a way to give Africa the award. I don't know too many other women writers who are good enough for the Nobel (Joyce Carol Oates definitely isn't), so I can't say specific names, maybe Hillary Mantel?

    If it's not a woman, it will either go to Nurrudin Farah or Ngugi Wa'thiongo or an Austrlian writer or someone European. The next writer from America who will win it is probably Vollmann, but he has a lot of time before he has a decent shot at it.

  11. #31
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    Default Re: The Next Generation: Future Nobel Prizewinners?

    Some young writers to consider:

    Laurent Binet -
    I heard he has a new book in France. Don't know much about it, but HHhH was a masterpiece, especially for a debut novel. If the man keeps up the good work he may have a shot in a few decades.

    Aleksandar Hemon - Exceptional stylist and writer. Though his latest novel, The Making of Zombies Wars, was poorly received by critics, I think he's defenitely going to be a contender a few years from now. Also, laureating him would be a homage to the spirit of Nabokov.

    Sofi Oksanen - Personally, I didn't like Purge, the only novel that I've read. But people seem to love it and her takes on the aftermath of the fall of the Soviet Union seem to be the kind of ingredient the Academy loves to award.

    Juan Gabriel Vásquez - Maybe the next Nobel for Colombia. The Sound of Things Falling was a very promissing start. Still have to read his other works.

  12. #32
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    Default Re: The Next Generation: Future Nobel Prizewinners?

    Gonçalo Tavares and Valter Hugo Mãe, both Portuguese writers. I wish I could talk about a Brazilian author, but I cannot thing of nobody remarkable.

  13. #33

    Default Re: The Next Generation: Future Nobel Prizewinners?

    Those who are still living:

    1. Ngugi wa Thiong'o

    Duong Thu Huong
    Mahmoud Dowlatabadi
    Buchi Emecheta
    Amos Oz

    Ngugi is the best post-colonial thinker and intellectual to come from Africa since Frantz Fanon. I was thoroughly impressed by his non-fiction essay "Decolonising the Mind: The Politics of Language in African Literature". I also enjoyed his novels "The River Between" and "A Grain of Wheat". Duong's novel "Paradise of the Blind" is one of the greatest East Asian novels ever written. At the moment I'm reading Dowlatabadi's "Missing Soluch" which happens to be my first Iranian novel, and I'm very impressed by it. After this I have another Iranian novel "Savushun" as I prepare to explore Middle Eastern Literature.

  14. #34
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    Default Re: The Next Generation: Future Nobel Prizewinners?

    Jon Fosse's Nordic Council Prize got me thinking: unless the Nobel winner is an older, famed writer where it's kind of surprising they had not already won (Vargas Llosa, Tranströmer, Munro), they like to give it to a writer who recently (like past 5 years) published a book being hailed as a masterpiece (Müller and Atemschaukel, Mo Yan and Frog, Alexievich and The Second Hand of Time). Not always the case, but enough that it might be beneficial to consider this when considering younger possibilities. Some writers who fall into this:

    Mircea Cartarescu- Swedish critics second pick for this year. Blinding is quite an acheivement.

    Jon Fosse- The one who made me think of this. His trilogy just won the most prestigious Scandinavian novel prize. Between that and his reputation as a playwright, the only things that might hold him back are his young age, the academy's possible reluctance to return to Scandinavia so soon after Tranströmer's win, and perhaps an academy members preference for one of the other great Norwegian writers coming into prominence now.

    Richard Flanagan- Have not heard much about him in regards to the Nobel; also have not yet read him. But on the basis of his reputation, he seems like he deserves to be in the conversation. He's the youngest one here and might need another few years, but the general consensus is that he has 2 masterpieces under his belt and the rest of his work isn't too shabby either.

    Laszlo Krasznahorkai- Only in a literature prize could someone aged 61 be considered on the younger side. His recent hype and Seiobo There Below could give him the boost he needs.

    Can Xue- I don't think she'll have a shot for a while. With Mo Yan's recent win, I think they'd prefer to give it to a more overt dissident. Can Xue's work has been interpreted as falling under this category in the west, but she herself insists it is nothing of the sort. Still, she should not be counted out.

    William T. Vollmann- The Dying Grass has given him some of the best reviews of his career. I still stand by my claim that the academy, if it does give the Nobel to him, would wait until the seven dreams is complete, but you never know. He's probably the least insular American writer right now. His work isn't for everyone, but there have been times in the past where an academy member has been a superfan of a writer and gone out of their way to ensure their author wins, and Vollmann seems prone to getting rapid fans.

    And I'm sure there are a ton more that I'm forgetting. Usually I have a good idea of who will probably get the award (this year it will be a woman, this time to a lesser known European, etc), only to get sidetracked as the speculation goes on (and though the profile I originally picked was correct, the winner was no one I expected). I've finally realized I should just listen to my inner voice at the beginning, only to now have no idea at all about next year's laureate. The two last years it's gone to a European, but then, depending on how you view citizenship, it went to Europeans from 2004 to 2011, and as much as I'd like them to honor non-European literature, Europe does probably have the highest concentration of deserving authors.

  15. #35
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    Default Re: The Next Generation: Future Nobel Prizewinners?

    Quote Originally Posted by redheadshadz View Post
    Jon Fosse's Nordic Council Prize got me thinking: unless the Nobel winner is an older, famed writer where it's kind of surprising they had not already won (Vargas Llosa, Tranströmer, Munro), they like to give it to a writer who recently (like past 5 years) published a book being hailed as a masterpiece (Müller and Atemschaukel, Mo Yan and Frog, Alexievich and The Second Hand of Time). Not always the case, but enough that it might be beneficial to consider this when considering younger possibilities. Some writers who fall into this:
    Is Frog a masterpiece? I ask you because it's one of the few novels translated to Spanish directly from the Chinese, so it could be a good option for that second chance to Mo Yan.

    One name I'd like to add:

    Olga Tokarczuk: With the publication and critical acclaim of the Books of Jacob in Poland, probably it's a question of couple of years to get it translated to more languages for the Swedish Academy to start considering her. At 53 and with recent winners with similar age (Mo Yan, Müller) I can see her winning in the next 5 years.

  16. #36

    Default Re: The Next Generation: Future Nobel Prizewinners?

    Not sure I agree with the examples you gave for laureates. Müller's book came out a month or two before the prize, and it didn't win the Deutscher Buchpreis, for which it was nominated. Mo Yan did win the Mao Dun prize in 2011 for Frogs, but many critics both in and out of China have said it shouldn't have because it wasn't probing enough. You're right about Alexievich, though.

    If it does go back to China soon, I doubt it'd be Can Xue. More likely female authors would be Wang Anyi and Chi Zijian.

  17. #37
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    Default Re: The Next Generation: Future Nobel Prizewinners?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ater, Lividus, Ruber, & V View Post
    Not sure I agree with the examples you gave for laureates. Müller's book came out a month or two before the prize, and it didn't win the Deutscher Buchpreis, for which it was nominated. Mo Yan did win the Mao Dun prize in 2011 for Frogs, but many critics both in and out of China have said it shouldn't have because it wasn't probing enough. You're right about Alexievich, though.

    If it does go back to China soon, I doubt it'd be Can Xue. More likely female authors would be Wang Anyi and Chi Zijian.
    Masterpiece=/being hailed as a masterpiece soon after release. I'd agree that they're not masterpieces, but they received a lot of hype soon after publication. I meant more the acclaim of those books coupled with awards and nominations they received may have given them the edge. I don't think it's a coincidence Mo Yan won the Mao Dun prize in 2011 and won the Nobel in 2012. (That's an interesting critique of Frog. I've heard about issues with pacing, but I'd say the probing aspect doesn't matter as long as the book itself is good.) They were just the first ones that came to mind. You also have Coetzee with Disgrace, Jelinek with Children of the Dead (and some plays), Pamuk and Snow (there was that trial, but he didn't win the Nobel just for politics), Saramago and Blindness, and a bunch of others. Like I said, this is far from the case for every winner, but enough of them published a work(s) which almost certainly factored into the prize not too long before their win that I think it's worth keeping an eye on candidates with a recent major publication, especially those in their 50s or early 60s. And yeah, I agree with you about Can Xue. I would not mind either her or Su Tong winning, but if they do go back to China, I'm expecting Ma Jian or Yan Lianke.

    Daniel, I would say stick with Life and Death. I meant more the acclaim and awards and nominations around those books when first published was hyping them up as masterpieces. Now that the dust has settled, I'd say there are some definite flaws in Frog and Hunger Angel. And that's a good point with Tokarczuk. Your thread about women writers inspired me to buy Primeval, just from the synopsis it looks like a book I'd love.

    As for Aira, I'm also impressed by him but not yet convinced. He's all over the place in subject and quality. He could win, but I think if he does it will be later rather than sooner.
    Last edited by redheadshadz; 14-Nov-2015 at 00:53.

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    Default Re: The Next Generation: Future Nobel Prizewinners?

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel del Real View Post
    Is Frog a masterpiece? I ask you because it's one of the few novels translated to Spanish directly from the Chinese, so it could be a good option for that second chance to Mo Yan.
    I wrote about Frog before here because I really liked it. It was my "second chance" book with Mo Yan (after Large Breasts, ...) and it really moved me. I wouldn't call it a masterpiece, but it's certainly a well worth read.

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel del Real View Post
    Olga Tokarczuk: With the publication and critical acclaim of the Books of Jacob in Poland, probably it's a question of couple of years to get it translated to more languages for the Swedish Academy to start considering her. At 53 and with recent winners with similar age (Mo Yan, Müller) I can see her winning in the next 5 years.
    English translation is in the works, if I'm not mistaken. I guess, if it's received relatively well, maybe more translations will follow. A 900 pages translated novel is a tough sell I imagine.

  19. #39
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    Default Re: The Next Generation: Future Nobel Prizewinners?

    After looking at some more Nobel prize winners, I'm more sure of my hypothesis. I retract that masterpiece bit, but unless the prize goes to someone who's overdue, it's not uncommon for some acclaimed or recently published work to be what appears seals the deal for them. Unfortunately, the academy sometimes has...odd tastes. Bertrand Russell's History of Western Philosophy got him the prize (book panned by most of those who study the subject); Steinbeck's forgotten The Winter of Our Discontent eventually convinced the judges; I've heard (though not been able to confirm) that Sartre's also forgotten memoir The Names gave him the edge; and, more recently, on Le Clezio's Nobel prize page, other than Desert, the only two works that get a full paragraph in the press release are the as yet untranslated Revolutions and The African, which, over here at least, has been treated as slight and minor. I'm sure one of the writers I listed above in another post will get it soon, but I also have a feeling some odd, neglected work will lock the prize up for an unexpected author before the decade's out.

  20. #40
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    Default Re: The Next Generation: Future Nobel Prizewinners?

    Interesting list by Svenska Dagbladet:

    http://www.svd.se/har-ar-framtidens-...stagare#sida-6

    I would divide it into three categories:

    Real possibilities: Marie Ndiaye, Mircea Cărtărescu, Olga Tokarczuk, Karl Ove Knausgård, Ben Okri, Jonathan Franzen, David Grossman
    Will not happen: Zadie Smith, Michel Houellebecq, Elena Ferrante, Ignacio Padilla, Jeanette Winterson
    New names: Abdellah Taia, Linda Lê, Marlene van Niekerk, Hassan Blasim

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