Irish author tricked into thinking he won the Nobel Prize for Literature
Whoever did this should win the Nobel Prize for Cruelty.
Celebrated Irish author John Banville received a hoax phone call last week, telling him that he had won the Nobel Prize for Literature, shortly before the actual winner was announced.
The organisers of the Nobel Prize are now investigating the call, which was successfully made using the phone number of the Swedish Academy. A person, claiming to be Mats Malm, permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy, told Banville that he another author had won the illustrious accolade.
Speaking to Marian Finucane on RTÉ on Saturday morning, Banville said he had believed the call and proceeded to ring friends and family to tell them the erroneous good news.
Sadly, he learned the truth within an hour when his daughter told him she had watched the announcement live, and that his name hadn't been mentioned.
"It was exciting while it lasted," he said.
"I learned a lot about myself in those 40 minutes, I can tell you." Banville also said he called the number back and got through to a different person at the Swedish Academy.
However, Banville does not believe that the prank was personal.
"I assume it was someone inside the Swedish Academy who is disaffected and wanted to cause a scandal for the Swedish Academy," he said.
On Thursday, Polish author Olga Tokarczuk and Austrian author Peter Handke were named as winners of the Nobel Prize for Literature.
To make things even messier, Tokarczuk was winning the the 2018 award, which was not given out last year as the organisation was embroiled in a sexual abuse scandal.