For three long years, the Babu has spent early October down on his knees (or he would if he wasn’t a practising agnostic) asking the Spirit Who Cannot Be Defined But Who is Everywhere to put in a word at the Swedish Academy for any of these writers when the subject of the Nobel Prize in Literature comes up: J M Coetzee, Philip Roth, Salman Rushdie (though the prayers here became a tad less fervent after Fury) and Mario Vargas Llosa. This year’s Nobel laureate in Literature is…J M Coetzee. In celebration, the Babu plans to spend the next five minutes singing the Ode to Joy, only slightly off-key. (N.B. If the Spirit’s logged on, by any chance, how about a little effort on behalf of Vargas Llosa in 2004? Please?)





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