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This Just In: American Authors Insufficient

by Ashley Grashaw
Oct 6, 2008

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Ashley Grashaw

It's Nobel Prize season again. And that means hopefuls are sitting on the edge of their seats, waiting for the call. But not American authors, apparently. Last week, Nobel official Horace Engdahl made it clear he does not think much of American literature. He called Europe the "center of the literary world," and said that "the U.S. is too isolated, too insular," and that Americans "don't translate enough and don't really participate in the big dialogue of literature." That's quite an opinion. And, needless to say, his comments were not well-received stateside.

The Nobel Prize in literature will be presented on Oct. 9. Today, we'll hear from book critic Adam Kirsch, as well as from Liesl Schillinger, a regular contributor to the New York Times Book Review, about their take on Engdahl's comments. And we also want to hear from you: which American author do you think deserves to win the Nobel Prize and why?

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