Dalkey Archive Press authors front-runners for Nobel Prize

A pair of authors whose books Dalkey Archive Press has translated into English are among the favorites for the 2015 Nobel Prize in Literature.

Svetlana Alexievich

The press housed at the University of Houston-Victoria publishes about 50 books a year with an emphasis on translations from more than 40 countries.

Belarusian investigative journalist Svetlana Alexievich is the betting favorite for the prize, which is expected to be announced within the next two weeks, Dalkey publisher John O’Brien said. Norwegian writer Jon Fosse also is among the leading contenders.

“Both of these authors deserve this international attention, and we are proud we have brought their works into English,” O’Brien said.

Alexievich is primarily a newspaper journalist who spent her early career in Minsk compiling firsthand accounts of World War II, the Soviet-Afghan War, the fall of the Berlin Wall and the Chernobyl meltdown.

Alexievich interviewed hundreds of people affected by the meltdown. “Voices from Chernobyl” gives accounts of what happened to the people of Belarus and the fear, anger and uncertainty they lived through. The book, which won the 2005 National Book Critics Award, originally was written in Russian.

Fosse, best known in Europe as a playwright, has had several books published by Dalkey, two of which were released Tuesday. His collection of essays, “An Angel Walks Through the Stage and Other Essays,” includes Fosse’s writing on literature, theater and his personal essays. Fosse’s novel, “Morning and Evening,” compresses a man’s life into the span of a day, from morning to evening. The original language of Fosse’s works was Norwegian.

Other top candidates for the prize are Haruki Murakami, Joyce Carol Oates, Philip Roth, Peter Handke and Thomas Pynchon. Dalkey Archive Press has seven writers among the top 70 who are considered possible winners.

John O’Brien

“The consideration of so many writers for the Nobel Prize in Literature shows the high caliber of authors that Mr. O’Brien and his team have worked with through the years,” said Jeffrey Di Leo, dean of the UHV School of Arts & Sciences. “Dalkey has translated into English some incredible works by these authors, making them accessible to new audiences. We’re excited about this growing collaboration between the press and the university.”

Dalkey Archive Press moved its operations from Illinois to Victoria this summer. The press plans to offer its applied literary translation program at UHV starting this spring.

The Nobel Prize in Literature has been awarded 107 times, starting in 1901. The Swedish Academy has not yet set the date of the literature prize announcement, but it typically occurs in early October. Announcements for the other Nobel prizes will begin on Monday, starting with the prize for physiology or medicine. The Nobel Peace Prize will be awarded on Oct. 9.

More information about Dalkey Archive Press can be found at

The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973 in Victoria, Texas, offers courses leading to more than 80 academic programs in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as an instructional site in Katy, Texas, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student population, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.

Jeremy Shapiro