Source Pravda.Ru

Nobel literature prize may be handed out next week

Nobel watchers hoping to find out who will win the 2005 literature prize will have to wait at least a week, after the Swedish Academy failed to set a date for the prize announcement Tuesday.

By tradition, the 18-member group that makes up the 219-year-old institution, announces on a Tuesday that it will name the winner the following Thursday at 1 p.m. (1100GMT).

With the other Nobel Prize announcements already in full swing, many expected the academy to confirm the date this week, but it kept mum, suggesting the coveted award would be announced next Thursday instead.

The silence has also led to speculation that academy members may be locked in fierce debate about who should take home this year's award, which includes a 10 million kronor prize (Ђ1.07 million; US$1.3 million), gold medal and diploma, along with a guaranteed boost in sales.

This year's awards, which began Monday and conclude Oct. 10, will likely have a one-day break _ Thursday _ with no prize being announced.

Anna Tillgren, of Bonniers Publishing house, said the academy's silence likely meant the prize would be announced on Oct. 13.

Before the academy's likely announcement next week, Nobel watchers have touted several possible front-runners, including American novelists Philip Roth and Joyce Carol Oates, Canadian Margaret Atwood, Somalian Nuruddin Farah and Peruvian-born Mario Vargas Llosa.

Europeans have won the literature prize in nine of the past 10 years, so experts said they believed the Swedish Academy may look outside Europe this year. AM