New Delhi: Come October 11 and the world will come to know the name of the 2012 winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature. If betting circles are any indicators, then it's game over and Haruki Murakami is the runaway winner with the highest and lowest odds at 5 and 3 respectively as they stand at 3.40 pm (IST) on October 9.
The Japanese writer is followed by William Trevor, the elder statesman of the Irish literary world who trails Murakami by more than 50 per cent on four main online betting sites. His highest and lowest odds stand at 10 and 8 respectively. Chinese novelist Mo Yan is running third with counts of 15 and 4.5. Nearly every living legend in the world of literature figures on the betting boards of Betsafe, Betsson, Ladbrokes and Paddypower. A few of those giants are Milan Kundera (both highest and lowest odds tied at 13), Ismail Kadare (20 and 17), Alice Munro (18.5 and 9), Philip Roth (24 and 13), Chinua Achebe (24 and 21), Amos Oz (26 and 17), Umberto Eco (26 and 20), Don De Lillo (34 and 11), Thomas Pynchon (34 and 13), Ian Mcewan (51 and 30), Kazuo Ishiguro (67 and 30) and Yevgeny Yevtushenko (both highest and lowest odds at 67)(appearing in the order of their odds). American folk rock legend Bob Dylan (55 and 11) also figures on the list, of course for his poetry.
There are eight entries from the countries of the Far East, i.e China, Japan and Korea. Europe, as usual, has the highest number of entries.
Incidentally, a few Indian names also appear in the list. Bengali writer Mahasweta Devi (both highest and lowest odds at 51) and Nepali writer (He is Indian, writes in Nepali) Rajendra Bhandari (both highest and lowest odds at 101) are the two names which figure prominently. And of course, who can forget Salman Rushdie (both highest and lowest odds at 67)? Though the odds do not favour him, we can always claim him to be Indian though we are not sure if we can let him attend our literary festivals.