The Japanese novelist, Haruki Murakami, according to sources has been made the favourite to receive the prestigious prize this year when the Swedish Academy announces winner in October.
A revered U.K-based gambling company, Ladbrokes, says Murakami, the acclaimed author of titles including Norwegian Wood, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle and, most recently, IQ84, has the “odds of 10/1 to win the Nobel.”
Last year, Ladbrokes’ second favourite, the Swedish poet Tomas Tranströmer, became the eventual winner of the award after he given initial odds of 9/2 behind the Syrian poet Adonis, at 4/1. But this year Adonis has slipped down the list, given odds of 14/1 alongside the Korean poet Ko Un and the Albanian writer Ismail Kadare.
Observers note that Murakami has long been considered a key contributor to postmodern literature. Critics say he uses much of Western themes, allowing such to influence his writing.
Other frontrunners include the controversial Chinese author Mo Yan, 12/1; a perennial contender and 79 years old Dutch writer Cees Nooteboom, 12/1; South Korean ex-prisoner and poet Ko Un, 14/1.