Publishers call on Man Booker prize to drop American authors

Tensions over the decision to allow US authors to enter the Man Booker prize have flared up yet again, with 30 publishers signing a letter urging the prize organisers to reverse the change, or risk a “homogenised literary future”. The letter, which was intended to be private and has not yet been sent to the Man Booker Foundation, argues that the rule change to allow any writer writing in English and published in the UK to enter has restricted the diversity of the prize and led to the domination of American authors since it came into effect in 2014. Previously, the prize only allowed citizens from Commonwealth countries and the Republic of Ireland to enter. “The rule change, which presumably had the intention of making the prize more global, has in fact made it less so, by allowing the dominance of Anglo-American writers at the expense of others; and risks turning the prize, which was once a brilliant mechanism for bringing the world’s English-language writers to the attention of the world’s biggest English-language market, into one that is no longer serving the readers in that market … [It] will therefore be increasingly ignored,” the letter claims. Mark Richards, publisher […]

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