Apr 03, 2018
By Andy Johnson
There is a movement afoot to reverse a 2014 decision which made any novel written in English and published in Britain eligible for the Man Booker Prize. The group behind it includes literary heavyweights like Can-lit legend Margaret Atwood.
The Man Booker is the U.K.’s most prestigious literary award and for the past two years, American writers have dominated the competition.
Authors and critics from a group, known as the “Rathbones Folio Academy” argue that changing the rules has taken away the distinctiveness of the prize, which was previously limited to writers from Britain, Ireland, Zimbabwe and the Commonwealth. They say the Man Booker used to provide a point of focus for British and Commonwealth fiction, as distinct from any conversation going on in American fiction.
However, some U.S. publishers have defended the change saying it’s provided an opportunity to learn about new books that readers would not have normally come across.