Alison Flood writing in guardian.co.uk,
Wednesday October 01 2008
Permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy Horace Engdahl told the Associated Press that US writers were "too sensitive to trends in their own mass culture", which he said dragged down the quality of their work. "The US is too isolated, too insular. They don't translate enough and don't really participate in the big dialogue of literature," Engdahl said. "That ignorance is restraining."
"Of course there is powerful literature in all big cultures, but you can't get away from the fact that Europe still is the centre of the literary world ... not the United States," he said, later adding that "what I said expresses a conviction resulting from more than 10 years of assiduous labour". Toni Morrison was the last American to win the prize, in 1993.