Names tossed about in the speculation include Caribbean-American author Jamaica Kincaid, Canadian poet Anne Carson, Kenyan writer Ngugi wa Thiong'o, Hungary's Peter Nadas and American novelist Thomas Pynchon.
British writer Doris Lessing on Thursday won the Nobel Prize for Literature for five decades of epic novels that have covered feminism, politics as well her youth in Africa. Lessing, who will be 88 next week, is only the 11th woman to have won the prize since it was first awarded in 1901 and only the third since 1996.
Gerhard Ertl of Germany won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry on Wednesday, his 71st birthday, for pioneering work in surface chemistry that has become invaluable to industry, from fertilizers to cleaner cars. ''This science is important for the chemical industry,'' the jury said in its citation.
Albert Fert of France and Peter Gruenberg of Germany on Tuesday won the Nobel Prize for Physics for work that led to the miniaturised hard disk, one of the breakthroughs of modern information technology. Fert (69) and Gruenberg (68) were lauded for discovering a principle called giant magnetoresistance, or GMR.
Mario Capecchi and Oliver Smithies of the United States and Martin Evans of Britain won the Nobel Prize for Medicine on Monday for their work in creating ''knockout mice'', the 21st-century testbed for biomedical research. The trio were honoured for discovering how to manipulate genetically mouse embryonic stem cells.
Roger Kornberg of the United States won the Nobel Chemistry Prize on Wednesday for work on a key process of life called genetic transcription. Kornberg (59) received the distinction ''for his fundamental studies concerning how the information stored in the genes is copied, then transferred to those parts of the cells that produce proteins''.