Booker Prize

From Angl-Am
Jump to: navigation, search

click here for the seminar 2008-09 MM The Booker Prize 2008 and the Culture of Literary Prizes

The Man Booker Prize for Fiction

  • "The prize is the world's most important literary award and has the power to transform the fortunes of authors and even publishers"
  • Founded in 1968 after the model of the French Prix Goncourt, it has been awarded since 22 April 1969.
  • Originally known as the Booker-McConnell Prize, it was first sponsored by Booker plc (since the merge with Iceland plc in 2000 known as The Big Food Group, in 2005 bought by Baugur Group). In 2002 the prize was transferred to Booker Prize Foundation (BPF) and is since sponsored by Man Group, a leading global provider of alternative investment products and solutions as well as one of the world's leading futures brokers, Man Investments and Man Financial.
  • It is awarded annually for the best original full-length novel in the English language by an author who must be citizen of the UK, the Commonwealth, the Republic of Ireland or Zimbabwe, and who receives £50.000 "and both the winner and the shortlisted authors are guaranteed a worldwide readership plus a dramatic increase in book sales". Books must be a unified and substantial work, neither a book of short stories nor a novella is eligible.
  • The award ceremony is broadcasted live on television.
  • The judging procedure for the Booker Prize is rather complicated in order to guarantee the fairness and quality of the award. The first step is the formation of an advisory committee which consists of two publishers, a literary agent, a bookseller, a librarian and a chairperson, appointed by the Booker Prize Foundation. The advisory committee selects a judging panel for the current year. The judges are selected from amongst leading literary critics, writers, academics and so called "notable public figures". These judges chose their favorite of a pool of nominated novels, e.g. the longlist 2007 of 13 books, "The Man Booker Dozen" was chosen from 110 entries.
  • Related prizes: The Booker Russian Novel Prize and The Caine Prize for African Writing.

The Man Booker Prize for Fiction 2008


  • judges announced on 18 December 2007
  • the longlist will be announced on 29 July 2008
  • shortlist will be announced on 9 September 2008
  • the winner will be announced on 14 October 2008


  • Aravind Adiga, The White Tiger (2008) - Atlantic
  • Sebastian Barry, The Secret Scripture (2008) - Faber and Faber
  • Amitav Ghosh, Sea of Poppies (2008) - John Murray (Ibis Trilogy, book 1)
  • Linda Grant, The Clothes on Their Backs (2008) - Virago
  • Philip Hensher, The Northern Clemency (2008) - Fourth Estate
  • Steve Toltz, A Fraction of the Whole (2008) - Hamish Hamilton


chosen from 112 entries; 103 submitted by publishers and nine submitted by the judges

  • Gaynor Arnold, Girl in a Blue Dress (2008) - Tindal Street Press
  • John Berger, From A to X (2008) - Verso
  • Michelle de Kretser, The Lost Dog (2008) - Chatto & Windus
  • Mohammed Hanif, A Case of Exploding Mangoes (2008) - Jonathan Cape
  • Joseph O'Neill, Netherland (2008) - Fourth Estate
  • Salman Rushdie, The Enchantress of Florence (2008) - Jonathan Cape
  • Tom Rob Smith, Child 44 (2008) - Simon & Schuster


  • Michael Portillo (Chair)
  • Alex Clark
  • Louise Doughty
  • James Heneage
  • Hardeep Singh Kohli

The Man Booker Prize for Fiction 2007


  • Anne Enright, The Gathering (2007) by Jonathan Cape


  • Nicola Barker, Darkmans (2007) by Fourth Estate
  • Ian McEwan, On Chesil Beach (2007) Jonathan Cape
  • Indra Sinha, Animal's People (2007) by Simon & Schuster
  • Lloyd Jones, Mister Pip (2006) by John Murray
  • Mohsin Hamid, The Reluctant Fundamentalist (2007) by Hamish Hamilton


  • Edward Docx, Self Help (2007) by Picador
  • Tan Twan Eng, The Gift of Rain (2007) by Myrmidon
  • Peter Ho Davies, The Welsh Girl (2007) by Sceptre
  • Nikita Lalwani, Gifted (2007) by Viking
  • Catherine O'Flynn, What Was Lost (2007) by Tindal Street
  • Michael Redhill, Consolation (2007) by William Heinemann
  • A.N. Wilson, Winnie & Wolf (2007) by Hutchinson


  • Howard Davies-Chair, former director of the Financial Services Authority, director of the LSE
  • Wendy Cope, poet
  • Giles Foden, novelist and former deputy editor of the Guardian Saturday Review
  • Ruth Scurr, critic and academic
  • Imogen Stubbs, actor and writer

Main points of debate

  • Large amount of newcomers on the longlist vs. missing stars. New generation?
  • "Booker Dozen" - 13 books for long-list as key term; less books in long-list provide better possibility to read them before the shortlist is published, i.e. better sales (cf. Pauli)
  • Discussion whether McEwan's On Chesil Beach is a novel or a novella
  • Lloyd Jones's Mister Pip attracts the biggest sales and remains a favourite for quite some time. Nevertheless, Katie Price's biography beats all bookers in sales.
  • Anne Enright discussed as the conservative choice
  • The ceremony as too business-like and not up-to-date in terms of globalization.

The Best of Bookers

  • The Prize was first launched for the 25th anniversary of the Booker Prize in 1993. Salman Rushdie won the Booker of Bookers with the 1981 winning novel Midnight’s Children following the decision by a judging panel which included Malcolm Bradbury, David Holloway and WL Webb.
  • The Prize was announced for the second time on Thursday 21 February 2008 to celebrate the 40th anniversary. The Best of the Booker honours the best overall novel to have won the prize since it was first awarded on 22 April 1969. 41 novels were eligible for the award as there were two winners in both 1974 and in 1992. On 10 July, 2008 Salman Rushdie was named winner of the Best of the Booker award for Midnight's Children, again.

The Booker International Prize

  • The Booker International Prize was introduced in 2005 and is to be awarded every two years hence.
  • It is accessible to authors of any nationality for their complete works which must have been translated and published in English. The winner receives £60.000.
  • Winners were:
  • 2005: Ismail Kadare (Alb.)
  • 2007: Chinua Achebe (Nig.)

Further Reading


  • English, James F. The economy of prestige. Prizes, awards, and the circulation of cultural value. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard Univ. Press, 2005.
  • Markovits, Benjamin. "Prize Fight." New York Times Book Review, (2005 Mar 6), p. 27.
  • Ginsburgh, Victor. "Awards, Success and Aesthetic Quality in the Arts." The Journal of Economic Perspectives, Vol. 17, No. 2 (Spring, 2003), pp. 99-111.
  • English, James F. "Winning the Culture Game: Prizes, Awards, and the Rules of Art." New Literary History: A Journal of Theory and Interpretation, 33:1 (2002 Winter), pp. 109-35.
  • Showalter, Elaine. "Coming to Blows over the Booker Prize." Chronicle of Higher Education, 48:42 (2002 June 28), p. B11.
  • Strongman, Luke. The Booker Prize and the Legacy of Empire. Cross/Cultures: Readings in the Post/Colonial Literatures in English. 54. Amsterdam, Netherlands: Rodopi, 2002.
  • Huggan, Graham. The Postcolonial Exotic. Marketing the Margins. London and New York: Routledge, 2001.
  • Huggan, Graham. "Prizing 'Otherness': A Short History of the Booker." Studies in the Novel, 29:3 (1997 Fall), pp. 412-33.
  • Todd, Richard. Consuming Fictions: The Booker Prize and Fiction in Britain Today. London, England: Bloomsbury, 1996.
  • Huggan, Graham. "The Postcolonial Exotic: Salman Rushdie and the Booker of Bookers." Transition, 64 (1994), pp. 22-29.


  • Barris, Ken. "Realism, Absence and the Man Booker Shortlist: Damon Galgut's The Good Doctor." Current Writing: Text and Reception in Southern Africa, 17:2 (2005), pp. 24-41.
  • Lamb, Karen. "Bringing Australia Home: Peter Carey, the Booker, and the Repatriation of Australian Culture." Fabulating Beauty: Perspectives on the Fiction of Peter Carey. Cross/Cultures: Readings in the Post/Colonial Literatures in English. 78. Ed and introd. Kane, Paul. Amsterdam, Netherlands: Rodopi, 2005. pp. 17-30.
  • Nasta, Susheila. "Abdulrazak Gurnah, Paradise." The Popular and the Canonical: Debating Twentieth-Century Literature 1940-2000. Ed. and introd. Johnson, David. London, England: Routledge, with Open University, 2005. pp. 294-343.
  • Pitchford, Nicola. "How Late It Was for England: James Kelman' Scottish Booker Prize." Contemporary Literature, 41:4 (2000 Winter), pp. 693-725.
  • Gilbert, Geoff. "Can Fiction Swear? James Kelman and the Booker Prize." An Introduction to Contemporary Fiction: International Writing in English since 1970. Ed and introd. Mengham, Rod. Cambridge, England: Polity, 1999. pp. 219-34.
  • Morrison, Blake. "War Stories." New Yorker, (1996 Jan 22), pp. 78-80, 82.
  • Bell, Ian A. "Empty Intensifiers: Kelman Wins 'The Booker' (At Last)." New Welsh Review: Wales's Literary Magazine in English, 27 (1994-1995 Winter), pp. 12-14.
  • Yuki, Hideo. "New Writing e no shishin." Eigo Seinen/Rising Generation, 138:2 (1992 May), p. 74.
  • "The Booker Prize 1990." Unisa English Studies: Journal of the Department of English, 29:1 (1991 Apr), p. 39.