13 December 2018

Murakami withdraws from consideration for alternative Nobel

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Japanese author Haruki Murakami expressed gratitude at the nomination, but said he wanted to "concentrate on writing, away from media attention", the organizers of the New Academy Prize in Literature said while announcing his withdrawal, Reuters reported.

The other nominees for the alternative prize are British-born author Neil Gaiman, Guadeloupe-born Maryse Conde and Vietnam-born Kim Thuy.

Haruki Murakami was born in 1949. He studied French philology and classical drama in Waseda University. His first book "Hear the Wind Sing" (1974) made him famous and won the Gunzou literary prize. One of Japan's most successful literary exports, Murakami's Nobel prospects are reportedly the subject of intense annual scrutiny in his home country.

An alternative prize was set up by a group of Swedish cultural figures after this year's Nobel Prize in Literature was postponed following a sexual misconduct scandal at the Swedish Academy.

In particular, six members of the academy have decided to step down earlier this year. The decision was reportedly linked to sexual assault allegations against Jean-Claude Arnault, a French culture figure with whom the Swedish Academy had close ties. Last fall, several members of the jury resigned after Arnault's wife Katarina Frostenson remained on the panel even as the allegations against her husband were made public. Swedish Academy's Permanent Secretary Sara Danius stepped down in April.

2018.09.16 / 11:15
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