Match up, gentlemen. British bookmakers have the Nobel Prize for Literature as one of their options for enrichment. Although it has never coincided that the best placed name has been that of the winner, it is true that many years the laureate has left the list of main favorites. We review the positions of writers with more possibilities, according to the synthesis of the Nicer Odds portal, which compares the tables of the main UK brokers. Two data stand out at first sight: the top five positions are occupied by women and there is a Spaniard, Javier Marías, in the 18th place. Below, the Argentine César Aira (number 22) and the Nicaraguan Ernesto Cardenal (number 25). The countries with the most candidates – two each – are Canada, Hungary and China.
1-Anne Carson (Canada)
English-language poet of whom Susan Sontag said: "I would read anything I wrote." He states that "if prose is a house, poetry is someone on fire running through it." His best known work in Spain is the poems book 'The beauty of the husband: a narrative essay in 29 tangos' (2001), which tells the story of a crumbling marriage, in a series of scenes, dialogues and reflections that revolve around to Keats's phrase "beauty is true." His work moves from the Greek tradition to the comic through myths of cinema like Marilyn Monroe. Other books of his are 'Eros: poetic of desire' (1986), 'Autobiography of red: a novel in verse' (1998), 'Man in his spare time' (2001), 'Decreación' (2005) or 'Albertine' (2014).
2-Margaret Atwood (Canada)
Already a world celebrity for the success of "The Tale of the Maid" (1985), feminist dystopia that Hulu TV made a successful series in 2017 and has continued in the sequel "The Testaments", just published. Author of 18 novels and various books of short stories, poems and essays, her work explores topics such as Canadian identity, human rights and the environment, myths about femininity and the exploitation and use of women. His best-known titles are 'The Edible Woman' (1969), 'Alias Grace' (1996), 'The Blind Killer' (2000), 'Oryx and Crake' (2003) or 'Finally, the Heart' (2015) . Multifaceted, he has also made audiovisual and comic scripts.
3-Maryse Condé (France)
His visit to Barcelona, in February of this year, discovered some of this great lady of Francophone literature. The concept of alienation is basic in his work, which reflects the black experience in the world in various scenarios. “When I heard my brother call someone alienated for the first time,” he explained, “I thought it was a venereal disease, such as Gonorrhea, but he is simply a person who tries to be what he is not because he does not love his culture. ” ‘Segu’ (1984-1985) reflects the Mali that goes from the 18th to the 19th, from animism and economic bonanza enslaved to the decline and rise of Islam. ‘Yo, Tituba’ (1986) tells the story of the black slave condemned in Salem's processes. ‘Windward’ (1995) is a continuation of Emily Brontë’s bor Wuthering Heights ’. And ‘Heart that laughs, heart that cries’ (1999) are his childhood and adolescence memories.
4-Olga Tokarczuk (Poland)
The jury of the Man Booker International last year defined her as “a writer of wonderful sharpness, imagination and literary style” for her novel (winner) 'Flights', for next translation into Spanish. Degree in Psychology, has published eight novels and two Story collections His two best-known works are 'A place called yesteryear' (1996) and 'On the bones of the dead' (2009), a metaphysical and environmental thriller starring a retired road engineer who teaches English at a rural school in the mountainous southwest from Poland, and that will have to face a series of murders of poachers.
5-Lyudmila Ulitskaya (Russia)
The Russian author visited Barcelona in February this year. Considered the great living lady of the literature of her country, she is the author of 'Sóniechka' (1992), 'The cheerful funerals of Álik' (1997), 'Lies of women' (2002), 'Sincerely yours, Shurik' (2003 ) or 'Daniel Stein, interpreter' (2006). "Western feminism does not survive well when exposed to the Russian climate," he says, as well as "Russian women are better than men" because wars and repression eliminated the best men in a biological selection in reverse.
6-Ngugi Wa Thiong’o (Kenya)
Well published here in recent years, both in Spanish and Catalan. He decided, at the beginning of the 80s, to abandon the language of the (British) empire in which he had been schooled and trained, to inaugurate the novelistic tradition in Gikuyu, his mother tongue. He spent a year in jail and is the author of a huge work, in theater, novel, essay and memoirs. Some of his titles are the fictions' A grain of wheat '(1967),' The devil on the cross' (1980) or 'The witch of the crow' (2004), his essays' Decolonize the mind '(1986) or' Move the center '(1996) and his memoirs' Dreams in times of war' (2010).
7-Haruki Murakami (Japan)
Eternal candidate for the award, now he has an age at which it would seem feasible to achieve it. He is an international best seller and his work merges surrealism, postmodernism and Asian and Western narrative traditions. Marathon runner and passionate about jazz, he believes that “the System is a very important topic in my books. Japan is a very closed society, in which if one wants to be an individual it is difficult. You have to belong to a group, to a company, to lock yourself in an office. I'm out of all that, I've struggled to be independent, that's why young people like me. The System is a wall and the person is a fragile egg that crashes against him. ” Author of novels like 'Tokyo blues (Norwegian wood)' (1987), 'Sputnik, my love' (1999), 'Kafka on the shore' (2002), '1Q84' (2009) or the two volumes of 'Death of the commander '(2017).
8-László Krasznahorkai (Hungary)
Heir of the Kafka tradition and prophet of postmodernism, he claims that the novel "do not forget the twentieth century, all its hardships and its great authors, such as James Joyce, Samuel Beckett or Roberto Bolaño." His first opera is ‘Satanic Tango’ (1985), where he narrates the coexistence of a group of humans condemned to a miserable and apocalyptic life. Like ‘Melancholy of the resistance’ (1989), it was taken to the cinema by Béla Tarr. Other works of his are "To the north the mountain, to the south the lake, to the west the road, to the east the river" (2003) or "And Seiobo descended to Earth" (2008).
9-Marilynne Robinson (United States)
One of the favorite authors of Barack Obama. He has only written four novels, because "I only publish when I am very convinced." She was a professor in the mythical literary workshop of the University of Iowa. If we leave her first novel, 'Home life' (1980) apart, the others make up a trilogy of the Midwest: 'Gillead' (2004), 'At home' (2008 ) and 'Lila' (2014), set in a small imaginary city –Gillead– and with shared characters, so that the protagonists of a book become secondary in the other and vice versa.
10-Péter Nádas (Hungary)
Novelist and playwright, he is the author of works such as ‘The end of a saga’ (1977), set in the 50s; 'Book of remembrance' (1986), considered his masterpiece, where he interspersed the voices of three characters, a Hungarian writer in East Berlin, a man obsessed with beauty in the Austro-Hungarian Empire and a friend of the protagonist, or 'The own death '(2002).
11- Adonis (Syria)
12-Can Xue (China)
13-Gerald Murnane (Australia)
14-Jon Fosse (Norway)
15-Mircea Cartarescu (Romania)
16-Yu Hua (China)
17-Ismail Kadaré (Albania)
18-Javier Marías (Spain)
The best placed Spanish for international punters. After his precocious debut with 'The domains of the wolf' (1971), he published great novels such as 'All Souls' (1989), 'Heart so White' (1992), 'Tomorrow in the Battle Think of Me' (1994), 'Black back of time' (1998), the trilogy 'Your face tomorrow' (2002-2009) or 'Thus begins the bad' (2014). Controversial and academic article writer of the language, influenced by Juan Benet and the Anglo-Saxon classics, in his work, rich in digressions and subordinate sentences, the fundamental thing is the voice of the narrator, through which he explores the frictions between reality and fiction and the relationship between language, thought and behavior.
19-Milan Kundera (Czech Republic)
20-Peter Handke (Austria)