News: The Man Booker Prize and other literary awards


So this week the long list for the 2013 Man Booker Prize has been announced. Now of course, being a book lover and blogger I know of this award but don’t really know it…if you get what I mean. I don’t know how the books / authors are nominated, who are the judges etc so I’ve had a quick look and here’s some info for you on The Man Booker Prize 2013.

Launched in 1969, previous winners of The Man Booker Prize include Hilary Mantel’s Bring Up The Bodies and Wolf Hall, Yann Martel’s The Life of Pi and Michael Ondaatje’s The English Patient. 

Here’s the long list for this year’s nominees:

Unexploded Alison MacLeod ( Hamish Hamilton)
The Spinning Heart Donal Ryan (Doubleday Ireland)

The Testament of Mary Colm Tóibín (Viking)

The only one of these nominees I’ve heard of is Almost English and that’s because I was lucky enough to win a copy through Goodreads but I haven’t read it yet. So where does the name come from? The Man Booker Prize, it sounds a bit sexist and as though it should only be open to male authors…but actually no,  it’s just down to the names of the sponsor and the foundation (nothing sinister and sexist there!)

From the very beginning of what was originally called the Booker Prize there was just one criterion – the prize would be for ‘the best novel in the opinion of the judges

Past judges have included poets, journalists and actors and any original full novel written by a Commonwealth or ROI citizen published in the UK can be nominated and there’s a measly (I mock) £50,000 prize award!

Other well known literary prizes include the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction, Costa Book Awards and the Specsavers National Book Awards.

That said, when these books receive these accolades does it make us want to read them anymore? “…oh it must be good because it was nominated for such and such..won the Booker Prize / Costa award” etc.

I have to say, I haven’t been out and bought one specifically because it’s won an award, have you? But then maybe I don’t fit the ideal target audience of the Man Booker’s list – “the intelligent general audience“. Somehow, I don’t think a Chick Lit novel will ever make it through…