It has been a while that Japanese author Haruki Murakami is being considered for the Nobel Prize for Literature. Last year, British author Kazuo Ishiguro won the coveted prize. Now, according to a report in The Japan Times, Murakami has asked for withdrawal of his name from a list of candidates who were contending for a new prize set up as an alternative Nobel Prize for Literature. The Nobel Prize for Literature had been postponed after Jean-Claude Arnault, husband of academy member of Katarina Frostenson and a cultural icon, was accused of sexual assault and harassment. Frostenson stepped down as a member after the scandal.
The organisers of the New Academy Prize in Literature, an alternative to the Nobel, while sharing the news of Murakami’s decision said that the Kafka on the Shore author apparently expressed his gratitude on being nominated but said that he wanted to “concentrate on writing, away from media attention” and backed out.
The Academy, earlier this year, declared its decision of postponing the Nobel Prize for Literature following the sexual assault allegations.
According to a report in CNN, the academy’s permanent secretary, Anders Olsson in a statement had said, “We find it necessary to commit time to recovering public confidence in the academy before the next laureate can be announced.” He had also added that the decision was taken “out of respect for previous and future literature laureates, the Nobel Foundation and the general public.” The next Literature Prize will be announced in 2019.