Paul Kingsnorth's 'The Wake' makes history
Like Netflix’s influence on the recognition of brilliance within TV at award ceremonies, crowdfunding is finding its way into the highest pantheon of literary circles: The Man Booker Prize.
Paul Kingsnorth's 'The Wake' is nominated for the Man Booker Prize
Paul Kingsnorth's 'The Wake' is the first directly crowdfunded novel to be nominated for the prestigious Man Booker Prize long list. The book is set in 11th-century Lincolnshire and told in a semi-invented Old English language and follows a band of English resistance fighters battling the invaders in the decade following the Norman Conquest.
Mr Kingsnorth said, according to The Independent: “The thing about The Wake is this: its publication was a collaboration between me, its readers, Unbound and me, the author. That’s special.” He added: “I’ll bet [it is] not the last,” suggesting that crowdfunded novels will continue to enjoy a presence among the more traditional literary publication techniques.
This year’s iteration of the award is also because it has been opened up to global writers for the first time in its 46-year history. Allowing international authors to be nominated for this year’s prize “did not loom large over the panel,” AC Grayling, the chair of the judges, confirmed. “Our guiding principal was merit. We didn’t ask about the nationality or gender, there was no question of tokenism,” added Grayling.
“This shows the fears of the Americans sweeping all before them was unfounded,” Professor Grayling said. “We’ve got excellent people writing in the UK and all round the Commonwealth.” Johnny de Falbe, of independent bookshop John Sandoe, said: “Frankly it’s surprising there aren’t more Americans on there. It perhaps reflects a year in which there have been very few big American novels.”