I honestly did not think that our Swedish friends would select a European this year.
I was leaning towards a Vargas Llosa or a Thomas Pynchon, as there has been a dearth of South and North Americans for a while, or an Asian. I would have been surprised if the odds-on favourite Amos Oz would be awarded in 2009. Given the events in Gaza earlier this year, it would have been viewed as too political a choice in terms of timing, considering that the Academy delayed Orhan Pamuk’s win by a year due to the criminal proceedings brought about by his comments on the treatment of Kurds and Armenians.
But the good news? No Philip Roth! Hey, I enjoyed Goodbye, Columbus well enough, but I shed no tears that his explorations into the minds of the youthful male sexual beast, the middle-aged male sexual beast and the elderly male sexual beast were overlooked. (And don’t even get me started on fellow short-odds jockey, Joyce Carol Oates.)
So I raise a glass of schnapps to Herta! Prost!