Ngugi was nominated in 2017 but missed out on the award – He will be seeking to make a comeback in this year’s contest – Ngugi will be battling out with Japanese author Haruki Murakami, French novelist Maryse Condé and Peter Handke of Australia among others.
Renowned Kenyan author Ngugi Wa Thiong’o is poised to back a prestigious Nobel prize for great literally work after being shortlisted among top finalists by Swedish Academy, Swedish body that selects laureates. Ngugi who missed the highly coveted prize in 2017 after being shortlisted by the same body will be seeking to make a comeback tonight, Thursday, October 10, in an eagerly awaited competition that has brought on stage five of the world’s.finest writers.
Other contestants in this year’s award include Japanese Haruki Murakami, French novelist Maryse Condé and two Canadians, Margaret Atwood and Anne Carson. Also in the contest are Peter Handke (Australia) Milan Kundera (Czech) Amos Oz (Israel) among others. So stiff is the competition that it has become so difficult and confusing for anyone to predict who will be accorded the standing ovation.
According to Anders Olsson, the chair of the Swedish Academy’s Literature Committee diversity will be a significant priority in determining who will win the prize. “We need to widen our perspective. We had a more Eurocentric perspective on literature and now we are looking all over the world. Previously it was much more male-oriented. Now we have so many female writers who are really great,” Olsson told The New Republic publication Interestingly, all the selected authors have almost equal chances considering most of their works that have been picked were initially written in native languages and translated to English.
However, Ngugi, Conde and Can will have higher chances of winning the award if the committee will decide to make the award a global prize. In 2017, the prize was won by United States (US) author Kazuo Ishiguro while Bob Dylan also from US won the 2016 award. Ngugi is a distinguished professor of Comparative Literature and Performance Studies at Yale University, New York University and University of California, Irvin.
He is currently the director of the International Center for Writing and Translation. Among the notable works he has published include Weep Not, Child, The River Between, A Grain of Wheat – and plays, short stories, children’s literature, memoirs, essays among other Nominees for the prestigious accolade are selected by literary experts and former Nobel laureates from around the world. The 2019 prize will be awarded alongside that of 2018 which was postponed after the Foundation was embroiled in a sex scandal that tainted its reputation.