Writers from Japan

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Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami favourite to win Nobel prize for literature.

The Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami has emerged as the early favourite to win this year's Nobel prize for literature. The acclaimed author of titles including Norwegian Wood, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle and, most recently, IQ84, Murakami has been given odds of 10/1 to win the Nobel by Ladbrokes.

Last year the eventual winner of the award, the Swedish poet Tomas Tranströmer, was the betting firm's second favourite to take the prize, given initial odds of 9/2 behind the Syrian poet Adonis, at 4/1. This year Adonis has slipped down the list, given odds of 14/1 alongside the Korean poet Ko Un and the Albanian writer Ismail Kadare.

New names in Ladbrokes list this year include the Chinese author Mo Yan and the Dutch writer Cees Nooteboom, both coming in with strong odds of 12/1 to win the Nobel prize.

Earlier this year the head of the Swedish Academy, Peter Englund, revealed that 46 of the 210 writers nominated for this year's literature Nobel had been picked for the first time. Candidates are put forward by a mix of Swedish Academy members and international literary figures.

"An unusually high number of former Nobel laureates have exercised their nomination right," Englund wrote on his blog. Britain's strongest contender for the Nobel this year, which goes to "the most outstanding work in an ideal direction", is – according to Ladbrokes – Ian McEwan, who comes in at 50/1, behind the singer-songwriter Bob Dylan, at 33/1. American novelist Philip Roth is at 16/1, alongside his compatriot Cormac McCarthy, the Israeli author Amos Oz and the highest-placed female writer, the Italian Dacia Maraini.                                                              Posted on August 27, 2012 

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India's River Diversion Plan and South Asia's Waters

More dams are to come, as India’s need to power its economy means it is quietly spending billions on hydropower in Kashmir. The Senate report totted up 33 hydro projects in the border area with Pakistan. The state’s chief minister, Omar Abdullah, says dams will add an extra 3,000MW to the grid in the next eight years alone. Some analysts in Srinagar talk of over 60 dam projects, large and small, now on the books. (This special report has appeared in the Bulletin on Current Affairs - February 2012, you may have to Buy the print edition to read full story)

More in the Edition:

South Asia's Water - a growing rivalry

Indian, Pakistani & Chinese Border Disputes

India's River Diversion Plan: Its impact on Bangladesh

Water Crisis can Trigger nuclear war in South Asia

Reclaimed Water - the Western Experience

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