Last week in the book world, the debate ground to another gear. Another non-Briton won the Man Booker prize. The Man Booker prize launched in 1969 and for all but 3 of those years, the contest was open to authors from Great Britain and its commonwealth who had written books in English and published them in the UK. In 2014, the rules changed so the contest was now open to writers across the world whose books had been published in the UK. In 2015, a Jamaican writer named Marlon James won with A Brief History of Seven Killings. The next year, American Paul Beatty won with The Sellout. This year, when the shortlist was announced, there were 3 American writers up for consideration and everyone said it wouldn’t or couldn’t happen that another American would win. In fact, it did. George Saunders won for his novel, Lincoln in the Bardo which I read and think of as genius. However, I can’t stop thinking about whether the Booker people regret now that they opened up the prize to the rest of the world.
The great debate: since the Booker is on par with the Pulitzer (which is only open to American writers), do you think Man Booker should go back to limiting entries to authors from the UK and commonwealth?
What do you think?
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