Sometime this month, the Nobel Prize will be awarded for literature. Only a dozen of the 107 recipients – including 2010 recipient, Peruvian Mario Vargas Llosa (right) – have Hispanic and/or Latino roots.
The Nobel Prize is considered the most prestigious literary award in the world, given for lifetime achievement. So, who are some possible Latino contenders for the Nobel? Chile’s Isabel Allende seems like a great candidate – she has accumulated a large amount of work with critical acclaim. Other possible contenders could include Oscar Hijuelos and Victor Villasenor (as Felix Sanchez noted in this Huffington Post article about the Kennedy Center honors).
But since Llosa won his award fairly recently, the committee may give the honor to a writer from another part of the world. The committee can be unpredictable, as The Guardian pointed out in a recent article: “Some of their choices are so leftfield as to barely register.” The Washington Post speculates that Canadian Margaret Atwood, Syrian Adonis or American Phillip Roth could win the literary prize. By the way, no American has won the award since Toni Morrison took the prize in1993.
Here’s a list at the past Latino Nobel Prize winners. Click on this link to learn more about them.
1904 – José Echegaray, Spain
1922 – Jacinto Benavente, Spain
1945 – Gabriela Mistral, Chile
1956 – Juan Ramón Jiménez, Spain
1967 – Miguel Ángel Asturias, Guatemala
1971 – Pablo Neruda, Chile
1977 – Vicente Aleixandre, Spain
1982 – Gabriel García Márquez, Colombia
1989 – Camilo José Cela, Spain
1990 – Octavio Paz, Mexico
1998 – José Saramago, Portugal
2010 – Mario Vargas Llosa, Peru/Spain