UK bookies back Salman Rushdie to win the Nobel Prize for Literature


PTI, Oct 5, 2022, 8:53 AM IST

Image credit: DAVID LEVENSON/GETTY IMAGES

Salman Rushdie, the Mumbai-born author of Booker Prize-winning ‘Midnight’s Children,’ who is recovering after being stabbed in New York in August, is tipped among the bookmakers’ as the favourites in the UK to win this year’s Nobel Prize for Literature on Thursday.

The Guardian newspaper analysed the betting odds to find that the lowest odds for Rushdie winning were 13/2 on Tuesday afternoon.

If the 75-year-old celebrated British American novelist wins, he will become the first Indian-born writer to win the prestigious honour since Rabindranath Tagore won the Nobel for Gitanjali in 1913.

The prize worth 10-million Swedish krona, conferred by the Nobel committee on the “person who shall have produced in the field of literature the most outstanding work in an ideal direction”, is to be announced on Thursday.

Rushdie’s prolific body of literary works includes the controversial The Satanic Verses, which led to a fatwa from the former supreme leader of Iran, Ayatollah Khomeini.

The attack on New York-based Rushdie on August 12 came 33 years after the religious edict calling on Muslims to assassinate the author over the allegedly “blasphemous” novel.

Hadi Matar, 24, has been charged with one count of second-degree attempted murder and one count of second-degree assault and has pleaded not guilty to both charges.

According to the Nicer Odds aggregator, others among the favourites to win include French authors Michel Houellebecq and Annie Ernaux, Canadians Anne Carson and Margaret Atwood, Japanese writer Haruki Murakami, and American Stephen King.

The 2021 Nobel Prize for Literature was awarded to Tanzanian-born British novelist and academic Abdulrazak Gurnah “for his uncompromising and compassionate penetration of the effects of colonialism and the fate of the refugee in the gulf between cultures and continents”.

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