FACTBOX-What is the Man Booker Prize?

Wed Oct 15, 2008 5:23am EDT
 
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(Reuters) - Here are some key facts about the Man Booker prize, Britain's best-known literature award which this year marks its 40th anniversary.

* The Booker, renamed the Man Booker Prize in 2002 after its new sponsor, rewards the best novel of the last 12 months written by an author from Britain, Ireland or the Commonwealth group of mostly former British colonies. The award is judged by a panel that includes a literary critic, an academic, a literary editor and a novelist.

* The Booker went global in June 2005 with the addition of a prize every two years for any work of fiction available in English. The 60,000 pound ($112,000) inaugural Man Booker International prize was won by Albanian writer Ismail Kadare.

* Briton P. H. Newby won the inaugural Booker for "Something to Answer For." South African Nobel laureate J.M. Coetzee and Australian Peter Carey have each won the prestigious prize twice. Other prominent winners include Iris Murdoch, V.S. Naipaul and Salman Rushdie.

* Some of the Booker-winning novels that have been made into movies are Ruth Prawer Jhabvala's "Heat and Dust," Kazuo Ishiguro's "The Remains of the Day" and "The English Patient" by Michael Ondaatje.

* One of the most controversial Booker winners was DBC Pierre -- a pseudonym for writer Peter Finlay -- who won in 2003 for his debut novel "Vernon God Little." He admitted to be being a reformed drug addict and gambler, confessing that he once sold his best friend's home and pocketed the proceeds.

* Dubliner Anne Enright was the surprise 2007 winner for her novel "The Gathering."

* British author Salman Rushdie won the "Best of the Booker" prize in July to mark the 40th anniversary of award for his 1981 winner "Midnight's Children."

Sources: Reuters; www.themanbookerprize.com