The Swedish Academy that gives out the Nobel Prizes, including the Nobel Prize for Literature is in grave danger as the organisation collapses from within.
Yesterday two more members of the Swedish Academy resigned, including Sara Danius leading the entire Academy without leadership, soon after this announcement it was announced that Katarina Frostenson is also withdrawing as a member.
These two resignations mean that the Academy is left with just eleven active members from its total of eighteen, and because of the way the prize is set up this is a huge problem. Because while member can step away from active roles, they cannot resign, membership is for life and what’s more, twelve members are required to elect a new member by quorum, which means the crippled institution is now unable to self-generate new members.
The crisis began last year when accusations of sexual assault were directed as Frostenson’s husband, Jean-Claude Arnault, following revelations of financial misconduct and conflicts of interest. The furore has caused a massive rift in the academy putting the future of both the Swedish Academy and the Nobel Prize for Literature in question.
With further resignations, the Academy is now considered to be in total collapse, and no one knows what will happen to what has until now, been the most prestigious prize in literature. It’s now up to His Royal Majesty Carl XVI Gustaf and Academy member Sara Stridsberg to save the prize for future generations. Only HRM Carl XVI Gustaf can change the bylaws required to save the prize, but only time will tell what will happen.
In August four authors were shortlisted, Haruki Murakami of Japan, who soon withdrew himself from the competition, Vietnamese-Canadian writer Kim Thúy; Maryse Condé of Guadeloupe; and British author Neil Gaiman who is based in the USA.
The winners for each category will be announced on November 14th, but for now let’s take a look at those finalists and the books that made the final cut.
Last weekend at a glittering award ceremony the 2018 winner was announced as Hannah Lynn for her book The Afterlife of Walter Augustus. She was handed the award by celebrity judge Lorraine Kelly and will now receive a host of prizes and benefits.
The scandal first came to light last November when the Dagens Nyheter newspaper wrote of allegations by 18 different women all accusing Arnault of rape, sexual harassment, physical abuse and harassment over a period of more than 20 years. Eight of those women filed formal complaints however, all but one have been dropped due to lack of evidence or exceeding the statute of limitations.
The 72 yr old ‘photographer’ denies all charges and his lawyer has stated he will appeal if convicted.
We have that shortlist here so without further ado here are the books in the running for the 2018 Man Booker prize.
The 2018 winner will be announced on Tuesday 16th October, about a month from now in London’s Guildhall. The winning ceremony will be aired on the BBC and we’ll bring you news of that winner as soon as it breaks!