What is in an award, more precisely the Man Booker Prize, one of the world’s richest literary prizes? According to my CBC News source this prize comes with $83,000 CAD and significant international exposure. Just being on the short list is considered an honour. But to be the chosen one – ah, success and renown awaits the winner.
And this year, the winner was Canadian born, New Zealand author, Eleanor Catton, for her 832 page book, “The Luminaries.” Raised in Christchurch, New Zealand, she uses the 1860’s New Zealand gold rush as the backdrop for her dramatic narrative. It looks like a page-turner.
The Man Booker Prize for Fiction is awarded each year for the best original full-length novel written in the English Language. The writer must be a citizen of the Commonwealth of Nations, the Republic of Ireland, or Zimbabwe. But that will change in 2014, when authors from around the globe will be considered as long as their book is in English and published in the UK. I understand there were murmurings in the elite literary circles, but controversy adds spice to the discussion. And there have been quite a few interesting moments over the years since its origin in 1968 as the Booker-McConnell Prize, which was simplified to “the Booker.” In 2002, the name changed to Man Booker when the investment company, Man Group became the title sponsor.
The list of Man Booker recipients includes Yann Martel, Life of Pi, Julian Barnes, The Sense of an Ending, Iris Murdock, The Sea, the Sea, and Salmon Rushdie, Midnight’s Children. Eleanor Catton joins an illustrious group of writers. The Man Booker Prize Archive 2013
What I appreciate most about literary awards is that it pays tribute to all those who write. Books are the way in which we celebrate our humanity and test our tenacity to pursue creative endeavours.
“Let others pride themselves about how many pages they have written; I’d rather boast about the ones I’ve read.”
Jorge Luis Borges, Writer, Poet, Critic, Librarian