Can you name the person who was recently awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics? You probably can’t. I too would have to look it up. And who won the Nobel Prize for Peace? ‘The EU,’ both of us answer, and we fleetingly think of previous laureates such as Yasser Arafat and Barack Obama.
Why is it that most people know who Jennifer Lopez is but can’t name anyone who has won the Nobel Prize?
In the case of the Nobel Prize for Literature I often know the winner before he gets the prize, but not this year. I even need a mnemonic to recall his name: Yo man! This sounds like a song by The Village People but it gets me to Mo Yan.
But why is the author’s life the reverse of Sir John B Gurdon’s?