The Man Booker Prize is one of the biggest in the literary business with winner going home with £50,000. That’s UK pounds. Launched in 1969, the prize aims to promote the finest in fiction by rewarding the best novel by a citizen of the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth or the Republic of Ireland. Judges are chosen from a wide range of disciplines, including critics, writers and academics, but also poets, politicians and actors, all with a passion for quality fiction.
Some of the biggest names in English literature have won this prize and they include V. S. Naipaul for his short story In a Free State, Nadine Gordimer for her novel The Conservationist, Salman Rushdie for Midnight’s Children and Ben Okri for The Famished Road. I never finished the last of these books even though I had bought it in the sale section at Kshs300 sadly. That man’s magic realism is more potent that those witch doctors from Pemba as far as I am concerned.
This year’s shortlisted writers for the prize have just been announced and include;
- We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo (Chatto & Windus)
- The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton (Granta)
- The Harvest by Jim Crace (Picador)
- The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri (Bloomsbury)
- A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki (Canongate)
- The Testament of Mary by Colm Tóibín (Penguin)
All the shortlisted authors get a cheque for £2,500 and a designer bound copy of their book and as mentioned the winner goes home with 50,000 UK pounds which isn’t too bad. The winner will be announced on 15 October.