Every year before the Nobel Prize in Literature is announced, people ask me if I have any predictions. The answer is always no. The reason for that is that it's impossible to predict the Nobel Prize committee. Anyone claiming to give odds on a winner is basically making shit up out of thin air. The prize committee's reasons for picking a winner are entirely subjective.

I realize that this sounds negative, and I don't mean it to be. Every awards committee has its own agendas and its own culture. That's human nature. But it's a waste of time for people on the outside to try to guess what's going on inside. It's just better, in my opinion, to wait and be surprised.

I was surprised by the choice of Mo Yan, but I think it's a good choice. I really dug his short story collection Shifu, You'll Do Anything for a Laugh, and I'm looking forward to reading more of his work. Sorry I couldn't have predicted the pick and won you all a whole bunch of money in your office Nobel Prize in Literature pools.