Betting on the Nobel Prize

Associated Press A California USA NAACP AWARDS NOMINEES LUNCHEONFirst, the Tea Party, and then this: As an American, you can’t bet on who will win the Nobel Prize!

For the past three months, I’ve been working on the Nobel Reprise with Ben Greenman — a project where Ben and I write letters to each other about each Nobel Prize winning writer.

NPR’s news blog, The Two-Way, just featured a story on the Kenyan writer, Ngugi wa Thiong’o — whose odds for winning the prize have changed rapidly in recent days. He’s gone from a longshot to the odd-on favorite. Is the fix in? Are people in the know using their inside knowledge to profit from this week’s announcement?

I went to the Ladbrokes’ site to bet on Assia Djebar, the Algerian writer, who — at 33-1 — seemed like a wise investment, to me. I’ve followed her work for years, piecing through it slowly, in French.

Anyhow — as an American, you are barred from betting at Ladbrokes. How frustrating! Call your congressman!

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