Nobel Literature Prize 2017: Will Handmaid’s Tale earn top award for Margaret Atwood? – Telegraph.co.uk
He recounted how during a visit to Portugal in the 1990s, he was approached by then president Mario Soares.
“He walked up with Jose Saramago and said Ã¢Â€Â™You give the prize to this guy.Ã¢Â€Â™ Saramago was so embarrassed he wanted to disappear,” Espmark recalled.
The Academy, which had already been mulling Saramago for the prize, found itself in a tricky situation, he said: Should they turn their backs on Saramago, or ignore SoaresÃ¢Â€Â™ blunt move?
They ultimately honoured Saramago in 1998. He remains the only Portuguese-language writer to win the Nobel, though Antonio Lobo AntunesÃ¢Â€Â™ name regularly appears in the speculation.
“This year I think itÃ¢Â€Â™s going to be either Antonio Lobo Antunes or Ismail Kadare from Albania. Both of them are writers who have been tipped for the Nobel for a long time, and both of them are names that when they are read out, everyone will think Ã¢Â€Â™Ah, of course they deserve the prizeÃ¢Â€Â™, and thereÃ¢Â€Â™ll be no objection,” said Dagens NyheterÃ¢Â€Â™s culture editor Bjorn Wiman.
At the Hedengrens bookstore in central Stockholm, owner Nicklas Bjorkholm has set up a wall with books by possible winners, including SpainÃ¢Â€Â™s Javier Marias, Americans Joan Didion and Don DeLillo, PolandÃ¢Â€Â™s Olga Tokarczuk and David Grossmann of Israel.
His personal favourite for the prize is Korean poet Ko Un because, he insists, “the time has come for a non-anglophone and an Asian”.
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