A couple weeks ago Jeff O’Neal of Book Riot wrote a provocative article which started the discussion about J.K. Rowling as a writer deserving of the title Nobel Laureate. It has gotten the literary community stirring with quite a debate.
The Nobel prize often brings underdogs of literature into the limelight much in the same way that Sundance calls our attention to often under-rated, independent films. Alfred Nobel intended for this prestigious award to recognize “literary excellence.” But who says literary excellence can’t take the form of mass-market fiction? If J.R.R. Tolkien couldn’t receive the award after being nominated by C.S. Lewis in 1961, then who? Setting aside artistic and subjective elements, shouldn’t literature which is beloved by millions of readers across many generations stand a chance?
At HPB, we applaud authors who spark imaginations and ignite a passion for reading. So while the bar may be set a little too high for J.K. Rowling to win a Nobel prize for her contribution to literature, we believe she deserves our praise. After all, she’s inspired a new generation of readers. And writers, too. And the characters she created in her books will live on for generations to come.
What do you think? What author do you think deserves the Nobel Prize for Literature?