Nobel watchers hoping to find out who will win the 2005 literature prize will have to wait at least a week.
With the other Nobel Prize announcements already in full swing, many expected the Swedish Academy to confirm the date on Tuesday. Instead, it kept silent, suggesting the coveted award will be announced Oct. 13.
By tradition, the 18-member group that makes up the 219-year-old institution, announces on a Tuesday that it will name the winner the following Thursday at 7 a.m. EDT.
It's also led to speculation that academy members may be locked in fierce debate as to who should take home this year's prize, which includes a $1.3 million prize, a gold medal and a diploma, along with a guaranteed boost in sales.
This year's awards, which began Monday and conclude Oct. 10, will likely have a one-day break — Thursday — with no prize being announced.
Anna Tillgren, of Bonniers Publishing house, said the academy's silence likely meant the prize would be announced on Oct. 13, "but you never know what they are up to."
Yom Kippur falls on Oct. 13, but that would not affect any announcement.
The academy had no comment. Since 1901, when it awarded its first prize to France's Sully Prudhomme, the academy has not handed out an award seven times. Those years were 1914, 1918, 1935 and 1940-43.
Ahead of the academy's likely announcement next week, several authors, including Philip Roth and Joyce Carol Oates have been touted by Nobel watchers, along with Margaret Atwood of Canada and Nuruddin Farah of Somalia.
Other perennials include Peruvian-born Mario Vargas Llosa. Europeans have won the literature prize in nine of the past 10 years, so the experts think the academy may look elsewhere this year.
Last year, the prize went to Austrian writer Elfriede Jelinek. In 2003, it went to South African writer J.M. Coetzee.
Other names bandied about as winners, or at least strong favorites for the 2005 prize, include Syrian poet Ali Ahmad Said, known as Adonis; Korean poet Ko Un; and Swedish poet Tomas Transtromer.
Since the prize was first handed out in 1901, only 10 women have won.
The Nobels began Monday with Australians Barry J. Marshall and Robin Warren winning the prize for medicine for proving, partly by accident, that bacteria and not stress was the main cause of painful ulcers of the stomach and intestine.
On Tuesday, Americans John L. Hall and Roy J. Glauber and German Theodor W. Haensch won the 2005 Nobel Prize in physics for their work in advancing the precision of optic technology, which could improve communication worldwide and help spacecraft navigate more accurately to the stars.
The chemistry winner will be announced Oct. 5 and the economics prize winner Oct. 10.
The Nobel Peace Prize will be announced Oct. 7 in Oslo, Norway.