Dylan O’Neill looks at the possible contenders for the Nobel Prize for Literature.
Last year, Kazuo Ishiguro was awarded with the Nobel Prize for Literature, highlighting his works The Remains of The Day and Never Let Me Go, the latter dealing with the ethics of clone lives and autonomy. He became the 114th recipient of the Nobel Prize for Literature, joining such writers as T.S Eliot, Ernest Hemingway, Bob Dylan, and Séamus Heaney. The question now is: who will be next recipient of this prestigious award?
“Martin has received both critical and fan acclaim for his honest portrayal of human nature in the book series, similar to previous laureate William Golding’s Lord of The Flies.”
An obvious contender is George R.R. Martin, for his A Song of Ice and Fire series. This epic fantasy book series began in 1996 with the publishing of A Game of Thrones. Taking inspiration from historical events, such as the War of the Roses, Martin has crafted a thrilling world that focuses just as much on the political workings of society as the fantastical side that readers have grown to love. Martin has received both critical and fan acclaim for his honest portrayal of human nature in the book series, similar to previous laureate William Golding’s Lord of The Flies. The series has been adapted to screen by HBO, and so it only stands to reason that the author who has had such an impact on readers and viewers, young and old, should be near the top of The Swedish Academy’s nominee list.
Continuing the trend of popular novelists who have seen recent success, Margaret Atwood, would also be a fitting inductee to the Nobel Prize hall of fame. While Atwood is most recognised for her 1985 book, The Handmaid’s Tale, with its stark portrayal of the mistreatment and institutional rape of women in a theocratic government, she has also written many books that encompass themes such as feminism and society in science fiction, in works such as The Edible Woman and Oryx and Crake.
“Atwood has rejected the categorising of her novels as ‘science fiction,’ but instead coins the genre ‘speculative fiction.’”
Atwood has received more than 20 awards for her works, including the Arthur C. Clarke Award for Science Fiction in 1987. However, Atwood has rejected the categorising of her novels as ‘science fiction,’ but instead coins the genre ‘speculative fiction.’ For her success in pioneering as a female author in the genre of science fiction Margaret Atwood deserves to be considered for the Nobel Prize for Literature.
Venturing into children’s literature, Neil Gaiman is a possible frontrunner for the prize. Awarding him would show that the Swedish Academy acknowledges the wide range of audiences that have become engrossed in his character-driven books. Most notably, the children’s book Coraline brings the same level of in depth characterization that may feature in adult fiction to a younger audience. With its dark humour and overall comment on the role of the family, Coraline has made younger audiences ponder deeper philosophical questions. Gaiman be next to receive the Nobel prize, it would promote younger readers to take up his novels for enjoyment as opposed to just for education, leading into a surge of new readers around the world. One might argue to include children’s authors Dr. Seuss or Roald Dahl for the award, however they are both dead, and the Nobel Prize is not awarded posthumously.
As for a personal preference, I would be delighted to see President Michael D. Higgins awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. The president has published several books of poetry including The Betrayal, An Arid Season, and The Prophets are Weeping, all of which can be found in the National Library of Ireland. Wouldn’t it be great if the next Irish Nobel laureate were Michael D.?