Oz literary hope for an Israeli Nobel in 2009

Oz remaining hope for an

Although Israeli professor Yakir Aharonov was left disappointed on Tuesday when he was not awarded this year's Nobel Prize for Physics, an Israeli author still harbors high hopes of winning a 2009 Nobel Prize. Author Amos Oz hopes to join Ada Yonath as the second Israeli 2009 Nobel Prize winner, a hope backed by the bookmakers, who have installed Oz as strong favorite to be honored in the literature category on Thursday. Oz is one the most influential and well-regarded intellectuals in Israel, and has written numerous novels tackling life here. His political writing is also said to reflect decades of service to the Israeli peace movement as one of the founding members of Peace Now. Oz, who has often been cited in connection with the coveted award, is estimated to have a 4 to 1 chance of winning, followed by Algerian-born poet Assia Djebar of France at 6-1, and Spanish author Luis Goytisola at 7-1, according to odds published by UK betting shop Ladbrokes. The Nobel Prize committee typically narrows down a list of approximately 350 candidates to about 20 names, which are then shown to the 18 Academy members in the spring. The Academy members are then charged with selecting a winner from this longlist. Before too much excitement is raised, it would be pertinent to bear in mind the story of last year's winner, though. Frenchman Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clézio, was ranked 14th in the bookmakers' estimates, but beat the odds and the competition to secure the 10 million Swedish krona (NIS 7.3m) prize.