Tomorrow, October 5, 2017 at 1:00 PM (GMT), the Nobel Prize in literature will be announced and there are two Icelanders in the list of candidates. According to Swedish bookies, The authors Sjón and Jón Kalman Stefánsson have been put in tenth and eleventh place, respectively, in likelihood of winning.
When asked what he would do if he won by the Swedish national broadcaster, Jón Kalman told them he would buy a bottle of whiskey and get drunk with friends.
Iceland ranks fifth in the world for Nobel Prizes per capita…with one. Ahead of Iceland is Saint Lucia, The Faroe Islands, Luxembourg and Sweden.
Sjón (Sigurjón Birgir Sigurðsson)
Sjón is a poet, novelist and lyricist. His pen name “Sjón” means “sight” in Icelandic and it’s a contraction of his real first name, “Sigurjón.” He’s written a dozen novels and is a consistent collaborator with Björk. He was nominated for an Academy Award for his song “I’ve seen it all” from the Lars Von Trier film “Dancer In The Dark.”
Sjón is the president of the Icelandic PEN centre and a former chairman of the board for Reykjavík, UNESCO city of literature. His novels have been published in 30 languages worldwide.
Jón Kalman Stefánsson
Already longlisted on the Man Booker International Prize earlier this year for his novel, The Fish No Feet, Jón Kalman is no stranger to be on the list of possible Nobel Laureates. He is the author of ten novels and several books of poetry.
What are the real chances?
Well, if Bob Dylan’s surprising win last year is any indication, the Nobel Prize in literature isn’t exactly predictable. The Nobel Prize is not for one work in particular, like the Man Booker International Prize, but instead is awarded in relation to the author’s entire body of work.
Iceland’s only Nobel Prize winner is the writer Halldór Laxness, who won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1955.
For updates on the Nobel Prize in literature click here.