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UK Writers For Banning Americans From The Man Booker Prize

The Commonwealth authors are concerned about Americans too aggressively snatching their key literary recognition of the year - The Man Booker Prize. As you well know, launched in 1969, it aims to recognize the best novel of the year written in English and published in the United Kingdom. However, US writers became eligible for the prize only since 2014.

However, as The Guardian states, "three years since the Man Booker began allowing any author writing in English and published in the UK to enter, 99% of Folio Academy members who responded to the question have said that the Booker should change its rules again, with most responses citing the new ubiquity of US authors in the prize’s longlists."

Such famous authors as Margaret Atwood, Ian McEwan and Zadie Smith "have called upon the Man Booker prize to revert to admitting UK, Irish and Commonwealth writers only, over fears of a new American dominance emerging in the prize".

“The prize was unique in its original form, but has lost that uniqueness. It is now just another prize among prizes. I am convinced the administrators should take the bold step of conceding the change was wrong, and revert,” John Banville, Man Booker Prize winner of 2005, expressed his concern.

According to The Guardian, "in February, 30 publishers signed a letter urging the Man Booker organisers to reverse the change, or risk a “homogenised literary future”. The Booker Foundation responded by saying there was no evidence that the prize’s diversity had been affected. “The trustees believe that this mission cannot be constrained or compromised by national boundaries,” it said."


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