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Literature Prize keeps pundits guessing

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07:27 CEST+02:00
The winner of the 2007 Nobel Literature Prize is to be announced on Thursday and while some are putting their money on US novelist Philip Roth, anything is possible as the Swedish Academy is keeping mum on its choice.

The Academy will announce the laureate at 1:00 pm.

The list of nominees is never disclosed, leaving observers to speculate wildly.

Roth tops the list of possible winners at online betting site Ladbrokes, followed by Haruki Murakami of Japan and Israeli author Amos Oz. The site last year had Turkish author Orhan Pamuk, who ended up taking home the honour, on top.

Sweden's biggest daily Dagens Nyheter suggested that the Franz Kafka literary prize could be an indicator of a future Nobel prize, noting that both Austrian writer Elfriede Jelinek and British playwright Harold Pinter went on to win the Nobel after winning the Kafka earlier in the year.

In such case, the winner could be 84-year-old French poet Yves Bonnefoy. But others have already won the Kafka Prize without going on to win the Nobel, including Roth in 2001 and Murakami last year.

Editor Stephen Farran-Lee of the Nordstedts publishing house said he was putting his money on either Philip Roth or another American author, Don DeLillo, or Syrian poet Adonis, the pseudonym for Ali Ahmad Said Esber.

"It makes us smile when we see the speculation. They are always wrong,"

Swedish Academy permanent secretary Horace Engdahl told AFP.

Yet other names have been mentioned in Stockholm's literary circles. Among them are Peru's Mario Vargas Llosa, Carlos Fuentes of Mexico and US novelist Joyce Carol Oates, who have all been tipped for years.

South Korean author Ko Un, Italy's Antonio Tabucchi and Claudio Magris, Thomas Pynchon of the US, Assia Djebar of Algeria, Peter Nadas of Hungary and French poet Maryse Conde are other names making the rounds.

The 2007 laureate receives a gold medal, a diploma and 10 million Swedish kronor ($1.53 million).

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