Man Booker Prize

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Man Booker Prize,

a prize of £50,000 (originally £5,000) for the best novel of the year published in English in Great Britain; prior to 2014, it was only given to a British, Irish, or Commonwealth writer. Great Britain's premier literary award, it was originally known as the Booker Prize and in 1969 was underwritten by the British food-distribution company Booker PLC, later part of The Big Food Group PLC. In 2002 the Booker Prize Foundation was created to award the prize, and the Man Group, a British hedge fund, became sponsor of the award, which was renamed. Recipients of the award have included V. S. NaipaulNaipaul, V. S.
(Sir Vidiadhar Surajprasad Naipaul) , 1932–2018, English writer, b. Chaguanas, Trinidad; grad. University College, Oxford, 1953. Naipul, whose family descended from Indian Brahmins, lived in England from 1950 on.
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, Nadine GordimerGordimer, Nadine
, 1923–2014, South African writer, b. Springs. A member of the African National Congress, Gordimer fought apartheid in her political life and in her writings, which often combine the political and personal.
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, Iris MurdochMurdoch, Dame Iris
(Dame Jean Iris Murdoch) , 1919–99, British novelist and philosopher, b. Dublin, Ireland, grad. Oxford (1942). In 1948 she was named lecturer in philosophy at Oxford, and in 1963 she was made an honorary fellow of St. Anne's College, Oxford.
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, Salman RushdieRushdie, Sir Salman
, 1947–, British novelist, b. Bombay (now Mumbai, India). He is known for the allusive richness of his language and the wide variety of Eastern and Western characters and cultures he explores.
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, A. S. ByattByatt, A. S.
(Antonia Susan Byatt) , 1936–, British novelist; sister of Margaret Drabble. Educated at Cambridge, Bryn Mawr College, Pa., and Oxford, she is a noted critic and novelist whose work is erudite, subtle, and passionate.
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, J. M. CoetzeeCoetzee, J. M.
(John Maxwell Coetzee) , 1940–, South African novelist, b. John Michael Coetzee. Educated at the Univ. of Cape Town (M.A. 1963) and the Univ. of Texas (Ph.D.
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, Peter CareyCarey, Peter,
1943–, Australian novelist, b. near Melbourne. Carey's combination of science fiction and fantasy motifs with a realistic style, displayed in the short stories in The Fat Man in History (1974), War Crimes (1979), and Collected Stories
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, Ian McEwanMcEwan, Ian
(Ian Russell McEwan) , 1948–, English novelist, b. Aldershot, grad. Univ. of Sussex (B.A., 1970), Univ. of East Anglia (M.A., 1971). His early short-story collections, First Love, Last Rites (1975) and Between the Sheets (1978), and novels,
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, Margaret AtwoodAtwood, Margaret Eleanor,
1939–, Canadian novelist and poet. Atwood is a skilled and powerful storyteller whose novels, set mainly in the near future, sometimes make use of such popular genres as historical, detective, and science fiction.
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, and Julian BarnesBarnes, Julian Patrick,
English author, 1946–, b. Leicester, grad. Magdalen College, Oxford (1968). During the 1970s and 80s he was a critic and editor for the New Statesman and New Review, a correspondent for The New Yorker,
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The Man Booker International Prize was introduced in 2004. Originally given for overall achievement in fiction, it was presented every two years to a living author of any nationality whose fiction was either written in English or was generally available in English translation. It was first given (2005) to the Albanian novelist Ismail KadareKadare, Ismail
, 1936–, Albanian novelist and poet, widely regarded as his country's most important contemporary writer, b. Gjirokastër, studied Univ. of Tiranë, Gorky Institute of World Literature, Moscow; his time at the latter institution, which sought to
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 and was subsequently awarded to Nigerian Chinua AchebeAchebe, Chinua
, 1930–2013, Nigerian writer, b. Albert Chinualumogu Achebe. A graduate of University College, Ibadan (1953), Achebe, an Igbo who wrote in English, is one of Africa's most acclaimed authors, and is considered by some to be the father of modern African
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, Canadian Alice MunroMunro, Alice,
1931–, Canadian writer, b. Wingham, Ont., as Alice Ann Laidlaw. Much acclaimed as one of the finest contemporary short-story writers, Munro is known for quiet, insightfully realistic, and irony-tinged works that deal with daily life and are written in
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, Americans Philip RothRoth, Philip
(Philip Milton Roth), 1933–2018, American author, one of the most important novelists of the 20th cent., b. Newark, N.J., B.A. Bucknell Univ., 1954, M.A. Univ. of Chicago, 1955.
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 and Lydia DavisDavis, Lydia,
1947–, American writer known for innovative, very short stories, b. Northampton, Mass., studied Barnard College. Davis earned early praise for her translations from the French and has continued to produce critically acclaimed translations of such authors as
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, and Hungarian László KrasznahorkaiKrasznahorkai, Lázló,
1954–, Hungarian writer known for his strange, bleak, obsessive, and surreal novels, short stories, and film scripts. Usually marked by grim rural settings, and often featuring sentences that go on for pages, his prose works are
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. In 2015 the award was made an annual prize (from 2016) for the best novel published in English translation in Great Britain, with the prize money of £50,000 to be shared by the author and translator. Subsequent prizes went to Korean novelist Han Kang and translator Deborah Smith and Israeli novelist David GrossmanGrossman, David,
1954–, Israeli writer and peace activist, b. Jerusalem. He is widely recognized as the finest novelist in the generation that followed Amos Oz and A. B. Yehoshua.
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 and translator Jessica Cohen.

The Man Asian Literary Prize was founded by the Hong Kong International Literary Festival with the financial support of the Man Group. Awarded for the years 2007–12, it aimed to bring new Asian writers to the attention of the world literary community, to encourage the translation and publication in English of such writers' works, and to emphasize Asia's increasing role in world literature.