Man Booker Prize To Include American Authors, But Will It Lose Its Identity?

In a move that could potentially see American literary heavyweights including Jonathan Franzen, Thomas Pynchon and Don DeLillo being honoured for their work in the UK, organizers of the Man Booker Prize - Britain's most prestigious literary award - have announced plans to expand the contest to writers outside of Britain, Ireland and the Commonwealth.

Currently, the Man Booker Prize is open to any full-length novel written by authors inside those boundaries, though a change is tact is has been designed to raise the award's profile internationally. According to the Telegraph, organisers have become increasingly concerned that excluding writers in the US in anachronistic, though opening to the entry to the States now makes hundreds more books eligible each year - something former recipient Howard Jacobson called "the wrong decision."

The broadcaster and writer Melvyn Bragg said he was "disappointed though not that surprised" by the decision, telling the Sunday Times, "The Booker will now lose its distinctiveness.It's rather like a British company being taken over by some worldwide conglomerate."

Jacobson - who famously upset the odds to win for The Finkler Question in 2010 - simply commented, "Wrong decision, that's all I'm going to say."

Several publishers and agents representing nominated acts this year were also against the decision. Colin Midson, who represents Eleanor Catton - who is nominated for The Luminaries - said, "I think it's a shame. If you look through the list of winners for the past 40 years or so it has a very strong character: there's a certain type of book we in the industry think of as 'a Booker book', and now that will be less clear."

David Godwin, a literary agent who represents Jim Crace - the favourite for this year's prize - said, "It will be even harder now for British writers to get acknowledged. The Booker should stick to its guns."

Though the award potentially losing its identity is one thing, the distinct possibility that the award may remain in the U.S for successive years is another. For example, Franzen's last two novels, Freedom and The Corrections would have presumably been in the mix for the Booker Prize. As would Phillip Roth's The Human Stain - surely.

This year's Man Booker Prize is headed by Crace and Catton, though Colm Toibin is fancied for The Testament of Mary.

Jonathan FranzenJonathan Franzen Would Almost Certainly Have Won A Booker Prize By Now


Contactmusic

Tags: Hilary Mantel


Editors Recommendations

MS MR Admit They're 'Natural Performers' As They Enjoy 2014's Festival Season

Some bands are worth getting excited about and, with the festival season well under way...

MS MR Admit They're 'Natural Performers' As They Enjoy 2014's Festival Season

Miley Cyrus Forced To Cancel More 'Bangerz' Tour Dates As She Remains Hospitalized

Miley Cyrus is still receiving hospital treatment for "severe allergic reaction...

Miley Cyrus Forced To Cancel More 'Bangerz' Tour Dates As She Remains Hospitalized

Peaches Geldof Will Be Laid To Rest In Same Church As Late Mother

Peaches Geldof, who suddenly died at the beginning of this month (April 7th)...

Peaches Geldof Will Be Laid To Rest In Same Church As Late Mother

Gwen Stefani To Step In For Christina Aguilera On "The Voice"

We never would have pegged Gwen Stefani as the reality talent panelist type...

Gwen Stefani To Step In For Christina Aguilera On

Bryan Singer Announces Alibi, But It Won't Help "X-Men" Marketing

As X-Men director Bryan Singer is gearing up for his defense case, which he will have...

Bryan Singer Announces Alibi, But It Won't Help

Prince To Release New Album With New Warner Bros. Records Partnership

Prince and Warner Bros, Records seem to have put their differences aside...

Prince To Release New Album With New Warner Bros. Records Partnership

Lindsay Lohan's Ex List Was Actually A Step In Her Recovery

Lindsay Lohan really did write down her now infamous list of lovers, which has been...

Lindsay Lohan's Ex List Was Actually A Step In Her Recovery

'Mrs. Doubtfire' Cast Reluctant For Sequel: A Cash Cow For Robin Williams?

The news that a Mrs. Doubtfire sequel is definitely in the works 21 years after the 1993...

'Mrs. Doubtfire' Cast Reluctant For Sequel: A Cash Cow For Robin Williams?

Music Fans Crown Ozzy Osbourne And Lady Gaga "Hardest Artists To Understand"

Music fans have named Lady Gaga, Miley Cyrus and Rihanna in their top ten hardest...

Music Fans Crown Ozzy Osbourne And Lady Gaga


More recommendations

Comments

Hilary Mantel Newsletter

Subscribe to this news alert service to receive news and reviews on Hilary Mantel

Unsubscribe | Unsubscribe All