Jon Fosse is among the Nobel favourites again

Women and men still choose different subjects Jon FosseReading book. Photo

Jon Fosse is among the Nobel favourites again

Samlaget has a press release ready this year if Jon Fosse, 58, is to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature this year. The Man living in “the Cave” is high on the bookmakers’ lists.


– We are getting used to the speculations, and we think it’s just fun. And we are so disrespectful that we think it’s natural for us to be contacted every year in view of the importance of his authorship, says publisher, Håkon Kolmannskog, to NTB.

The publishing house has prepared itself. The press release is prepared, they know where Fosse is located and what will happen if he gets the world’s most famous literature prize. The winner will be announced in Stockholm at 1 pm on Thursday.

Surprised everybody

Last year, the Swedish Academy surprised everyone by awarding the prize to Bob Dylan. If the committee chooses more traditionally this year, names like Kenyan Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Japanese Haruki Murakami and Canadian Margaret Atwood are among the favourites. These three top the bookmakers’ lists as will according to the “Bra odds” website, which compares the odds from the different gaming companies.

On Tuesday, Jon Fosse was ranked 12th in this list with an odds between 18 and 25. On Unibet’s list, Fosse is in the top ten on a ninth place, albeit slightly further down than last year. Then he climbed to 5th place on the gaming company’s list.

Fosse, who since 2011 has lived in Norway’s honorary residence, the Cave (Grotten), has been linked to the literature award for many years. Already in 2005, Bergens Tidende wrote that the Swedish Academy had acquired Fosses’s books and received a Fosse connoisseur to lecture for the Academy members. Since then, Fosse has won a number of prizes, including the world’s most important theater prize, the International Ibsen Prize, and in 2015 he won the Literature Prize of the Nordic Council.

Fosse is the only Norwegian writer who is among the top 20 on the bookmakers’ lists. Further down we find Merethe Lindstrøm, Kjell Askildsen and Karl Ove Knausgård.

Canadian favourite

One who has also been in speculation for many years is Canadian Margaret Atwood (77). She is more current than ever after her 1985 novel “The Handmaid’s Tale” has become a TV series and has won five Emmy Awards earlier this year. Future Fables, for example, won the award for best drama series. Soon, her novel, “Alias Grace”, will also be published as a miniseries on Netflix.

The Swedish Academy does not give that a thought. But it’s nice that Atwood has gotten new topicality. She really deserves it. She is a very special author. She is wonderfully foresighted and very modern in her mind, says chief editor of translated fiction in Atwood’s Norwegian publishing house Aschehoug, Gunn Reinertsen.

Reinertsen believes Atwood really deserves a Nobel Prize, but is still surprised if she gets it.

– Literally speaking, there is nothing against that Atwood should be awarded the Nobel Prize, but what is speaking against her is that another amazing female writer in almost the same age group – Alice Munro – received the award just four years ago. It should not have anything to say, but we know that it sometimes does, says Gunn Reinertsen.


The Svenska Akademiens website indicates that there are usually suggestions of about 200 authors. In April, the number is in a semi-final of around 20 names, which in May is reduced to a final heat of five. Who is on the final list is a well-kept secret.

Facts about Nobel’s Literature Prize

This year’s prize winner will be announced by the Swedish Academy in Stockholm on Thursday, October 5th. 13:00.

  • The prize has been awarded since 1901.
  • The prize winner receives SEK 9 million.
  • The prize is awarded by the Swedish king in Stockholm Concert Hall on December 10.
  • Last year, the award went to Bob Dylan, who did not meet at the award ceremony.
  • The award has been three times to Norwegian authors: Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson in 1903, Knut Hamsun in 1920 and Sigrid Undset in 1928.
  • Last time a Nordic writer received the award was in 2011 when it went to Swedish Tomas Tranströmer.


© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today