(Notably, honorees aren’t always notified in time, as occurred in 2007 with Doris Lessing, who seemed rather nonplussed by the news when journalists descended upon her for comment.) Danius remained a member of the Academy after being removed from the post of Permanent Secretary, but several members resigned over her treatment. Her theory isn’t just grossly wrong; it’s deeply offensive to the talented writers who have won the prize over recent years, suggesting that they only won as part of an elaborate joke. That’s the 8 million kroner question for Americans this week, as outraged citizens woke up on Thursday to learn that literary darling Philip Roth had, once again, been passed over for literature’s highest honor.

Speculation swirls as to why Roth has yet to pick up the Nobel, and the Internet, bless its heart, cuts to the heart of the utter mystification from Americans and irritation from Europeans that surrounds the “snubs” dealt out by the committee. Yes, the Academy will award two Nobel Prizes in Literature in 2019, to make up for the 2018 omission, the first of its kind since 1949.

Frostenson’s continued presence on the Academy’s 18-member panel prompted some members to resign, but the true crisis hit when Sara Danius, the first female Permanent Secretary of the Academy — its highest post — was dismissed after ending the Academy’s relationships with Arnault and Forum and bringing in an external law firm to investigate the Academy. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason. Meanwhile, Roth joins the ranks of authors like DeLillo, Franzen, Amis, and McEwan, all of whom are widely regarded as unparalleled in their field, except by those who are interested in seeing some diversity in fiction. Somewhere, a giddy Wes Anderson is developing a film about an elderly novelist, one of the most lauded and prolific in the world, who spends his late years waiting eagerly for each October, feeling sure that this — this! In 2012, Meg Wolitzer set off a firestorm with an opinion editorial in The New York Times arguing against the pigeonholing of women in fiction: But any lumping together of disparate writers by gender or perceived female subject matter separates the women from the men. Contact her at

By Stephen Pate – While many congratulated Bob Dylan on the announcement of his 2016 Nobel Prize for Literature, some of Philip Roth’s fans were outraged. Writing for the Los Angeles Times, literary critic David L. Ulin has a rather sharp point: Maybe Roth hasn’t won because the world is a big place, and the jury itself tends to be highly Eurocentric on top of that. Since Charpentier and Doudna discovered the CRISPR/Cas9 genetic scissors in 2012 their use has exploded. smith is a Northern California-based journalist and writer focusing on social justice issues. Copyright ©2020The Forward Association, Inc.All rights reserved. Franco-American tensions rear their ugly head once again, eh? He also notes Modiano’s work speaks to the insecurities, confusions, and desires of the modern age, making it an ideal selection in a year of global confusion and identity crises: [T]he selection of Modiano is perhaps most usefully regarded on its own terms.