It’s that time of year again. British literati come together to read, discuss, review, praise/lambast the candidates for the Man Booker Prize. I’ve followed these for a very long time and try to always read the winners – sometimes even the finalists.
Established in 1969 as just the “Booker Prize”, it awards the prize each year to “any full-length novel written by a citizen of the Commonwealth or the Republic of Ireland and published in the United Kingdom for the first time in the year of the prize. The novel must be an original work in English (not a translation) and must not be self-published.” The Prize itself is £50,000. Oh, and the “Man” part in the title was added later – it stands for the organization, Man Group plc, that has sponsored the Booker Prize for quite some time now.
The judges are chosen by the Booker Advisory Committee and tend to be related to the book world, but not necessarily critics, authors or academics themselves. So, they can be poets, actors, broadcasters, politicians, journalists, etc. For example, last year, Dan Stevens of Downton Abbey fame was a judge (he also happens to be a bit of a writer). That said, this year’s judges appear to be mostly writers, academics and journalists. Hmm. Wish they’d really get someone to shake things up a bit.
The Prize has had its share of drama and controversies through the decades, of course. Let’s see what this year brings.
The key 2013 prize dates:
23 July 2013 – Longlist announcement
10 September 2013 – Shortlist announcement
15 October 2013 – Winner announcement
Stay tuned. Oh, and here’s a page to explore past winners, longlists, shortlists, finalists, etc. How many have you read?