Today is decision day for the Nobel Committee in Sweden, which will announce the winner of the 2005 Nobel Prize for Literature this afternoon. There has been wide speculation as to the reason behind the one week delay on the announcement of the winner, with many pointing to controversy over Turkish author and Nobel Prize candidate Orhan Pamuk as being the cause behind the committee's unusual delay.
Other candidates for this year's award
In the Swedish press, Syrian author and poet Ali Ahmet Said joins a list of names including Yasar Kemal as those "who have come up most often for the Nobel, but who cannot seem to win." Swedish poet Tomas Transtromer, whose works have been translated into 52 languages, is another candidate who is at an enormous disadvantage: he is Swedish. A Swede has not won the Nobel Prize for Literature since 1974. Other candidates for this year's prize are Korean author Ko Un, Canadian author Margaret Atwood, American authors Philip Roth and Joyce Carol Oates, Albanian author Ismail Kadere, and Israeli author Amos Oz.
Nobel Academy founded nearly 250 years ago
The Nobel Academy, which was founded in 1786 by Swedish King Gustav III to promote Swedish language and literature, has been handing out awards for literature since 1901. Along with the recognition that comes with the Nobel Prize for Literature, the winner also receives 1.3 million dollars of award money. Last year's winner was Austrian feminist author Elfriede Jelinek.