FILE - In this January 29, 1974 file photo, singer and poet Bob Dylan performs at the Nassau Coliseum, in Uniondale, New York. Dylan was awarded the 2016 Nobel Prize in Literature, one of the most surprising decisions in award's history. The Swedish Academy praised Dylan "for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition." This year's winner is set to be announced on Thursday, Oct. 5, 2017. ( AP Photo/Ron Frehm, File)
The Associated Press
After two consecutive years of unconventional choices for the Nobel Literature Prize, observers are wondering if the Swedish Academy's adventurous streak will continue.
Haruki Murakami of Japan, whose works fuse the realistic and the fantastic, and Kenya's Ngugi wa Thiong'o, whose political work forced him to leave for the United States, are seen as top contenders for the 9-million-kronor ($1.1 million) prize being awarded Thursday.
In 2015, a rare Nobel Literature prize for a non-fiction writer went to Svetlana Alexievich of Belarus. Last year's award to American Bob Dylan sparked a debate about if popular song lyrics can legitimately be considered literature.
Alfred Nobel, the Swedish industrialist and inventor whose will established the prizes, said he wanted the literature award to honor "ideal" work, without defining the term.