The singer becomes the first songwriter to ever claim the world's most prestigious literary award
Long considered a dark horse to claim the world’s top literary award, singer-songwriter Bob Dylan has finally been named the Nobel Laureate for Literature, claiming the 2016 prize for “having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition.” Dylan is the first American to win the Nobel Prize for Literature since Toni Morrison’s 1993 award. He is the 10th American to win over all.
2016’s field was considered wide open by bookmakers, with no clear leader in the pack. According to the odds, the perennial bookies’ favourites Haruki Murakami and Joyce Carol Oates once again received most of the backing from people looking to wager on the greatest literary prize in the world.
Unlike the Man Booker Prize and the US National Book Award, the Nobel Prize committee does not release any long or shortlists of the candidates competing to be named the year’s winner. As such, speculation over who will ultimately claim the prize runs rife every year, but rarely manages to select the victor from the pack of literary heavyweights.
Bob Dylan, an iconic and influential artist and writer in popular music and culture for more than five decades, has often been included in lists of potential winners, but was considered an outsider for the 201 prize, with odds of 50/1. He is the first songwriter to have ever claimed the prize, with poets, including Irish winner Seamus Heaney, having only won three times.