A list of 13 authors from 8 different countries who were nominated for the Man Booker International Prize — which is awarded “to a living author for a body of work that has contributed to an achievement in fiction on the world stage” — was released yesterday. The winner will receive an award of £60,000 (approximately $85,000) as well as the ability to refer to him or herself in the third person as a “notable” author. Next month, the MBIP panel will winnow it down to a single winner, who will be announced at the Sydney Writers’ Festival, with an awards ceremony taking place on June 28th in London. Since the prize is awarded every two years, the last prize winner was the unflappable short story writer Alice Munro in 2009.
The authors on the shortlist include:
Wang Anyi (China), Juan Goytisolo (Spain), James Kelman (UK), John le Carré (UK), Amin Maalouf (Lebanon), David Malouf (Australia), Dacia Maraini (Italy), Rohinton Mistry (India/Canada), Philip Pullman (UK), Marilynne Robinson (USA), Philip Roth (USA), Su Tong (China), and last but certainly not least, Anne Tyler (USA)
After the list was announced, John le Carré issued a statement via his literary agent, saying that he was flattered to be nominated, but that he does not “compete for literary prizes” and subsequently demanded his name be taken off the list. Rick Gekoski, the chair of the judging panel, later said, “We are disappointed that he wants to withdraw from further consideration because we are great admirers of his work,” and that le Carré’s name will remain on the shortlist.