Salman Rushdie, who was stabbed earlier this year shortly before giving a lecture in the US, is among the favourites to win this year’s Nobel prize for literature, according to bookmakers, a media report said.
Rushdie, whose work includes the bestselling and controversial novel ‘The Satanic Verses’, was stabbed in the neck and torso as he was about to deliver a lecture at the Chautauqua Institution in New York state on August 12, The Guardian reported.
This year’s prize will be announced on Thursday and it goes to “the person who shall have produced in the field of literature the most outstanding work in an ideal direction”.
The award is decided on by the Swedish Academy, a group of 18 people who consist of Swedish writers, linguists, literary scholars, historians and a prominent jurist.
The prize is the most prestigious literature award in the world, with the winner receiving 10m SEK (1 million pound).
Betting site Nicer Odds, which compares odds from a number of bookmakers, showed that the lowest odds for Rushdie winning were 13/2 on Tuesday afternoon.
If he wins, the 75-year-old British American would be the first Indian-born writer to win the award since Rabindranath Tagore took the prize in 1913, The Guardian reported.
The attack on Rushdie took place 33 years after Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, then Iran’s supreme leader, issued a fatwa, or religious edict, calling on Muslims to assassinate the author a few months after ‘The Satanic Verses’ was published. Although Iran has since distanced itself from the fatwa, it has never been formally lifted.
Just two weeks before the attack, Rushdie had told the German news magazine Stern that his life was “very normal again”.