The Straits Times
Published on Oct 04, 2012

Bets on Murakami winning literature prize as Nobel season starts next week


STOCKHOLM (REUTERS) - A Japanese author who writes of love and isolation, researchers into "spooky" quantum physics and experts on economic inequality have all been tipped as possible Nobel Prize-winners ahead of the start to the annual awards on Monday.

Medicine, physics and chemistry laureates will receive their Nobels first in Stockholm next week, followed later by economics. But for many outside the world of science, the literature and peace prizes are the most widely discussed at the dinner table.

Odds at British bookmaker Ladbrokes and Sweden's Unibet put Japanese author Haruki Murakami and Chinese writer Mo Yan in the top two places for the literature prize. Other literary names bandied about include Ireland's William Trevor, Syrian poet Adonis, South Korean poet Ko Un, US novelist Philip Roth and singer/songwriter Bob Dylan.

For the peace prize, betting agencies favour Gene Sharp, an American advocate of non-violent struggle and Maggie Gobran, a Coptic Christian who runs a children's mission in Egypt, but there is no clear candidate.