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Here are the bookies’ odds for the 2021 Nobel Prize in Literature.

Emily Temple

October 5, 2021, 2:54pm

Attention literary gamblers and other people who like losing money: the 2021 Nobel Prize in Literature will be announced this Thursday, October 7 at 7:00 EST, and the bookies are open. The winner will receive a Nobel Prize diploma, a Nobel Prize medal, 10 million SEK (about $1,144,507.80 USD), and all the bragging rights in the land.

For those who want to get your bets in before the prize is announced and need a sense of the field, I consulted the London-based betting company Ladbrokes, which offers odds on the Nobel every year. But be warned that the odds are hardly predictive—last year, the winner, Louise Glück, only enjoyed 25/1 odds, and the 2018/2019 winners, which were announced jointly in 2019, were only a little closer to the top: Olga Tokarczuk had 10/1 odds and Peter Handke had 20/1. You might as well listen to Alex Shepard (either way, you should read his always-funny yearly piece). With that in mind, my (imaginary) money’s on Can Xue.

As of this writing, here are the bookies’ odds for who will win the year’s big prize:

Annie Ernaux – 8/1
Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o – 8/1
Haruki Murakami – 10/1
Margaret Atwood – 10/1
Anne Carson – 12/1
Jamaica Kincaid – 12/1
Lyudmila Ulitskaya – 12/1
Maryse Condé – 12/1
Peter Nadas – 12/1
Jon Fosse – 14/1
Don DeLillo – 16/1
Dubravka Ugrešić – 16/1
Hélène Cixous – 16/1
Javier Marías – 16/1
Mircea Cărtărescu – 16/1
Nuruddin Farah – 16/1
Can Xue – 20/1
Mia Couto – 20/1
Michel Houellebecq – 20/1
Yan Lianke – 20/1
Charles Simic – 25/1
Edna O’Brien – 25/1
Gerald Murnane – 25/1
Homero Aridjis – 25/1
Ivan Vladislavić – 25/1
Karl Ove Knausgaard – 25/1
Scholastique Mukasonga – 25/1
Xi Xi – 25/1
Botho Strauss – 33/1
Cormac McCarthy – 33/1
Hilary Mantel – 33/1
Ko Un – 33/1
Linton Kwesi Johnson – 33/1
Marilynne Robinson – 33/1
Yu Hua – 33/1
Zoë Wicomb – 33/1
Martin Amis – 50/1
Milan Kundera – 50/1
Salman Rushdie – 50/1
Stephen King – 50/1
William T. Vollmann – 50/1
Richard Osman – 100/1

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