IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis

BOOKER PRIZE

2nd May, 2024 Culture and Heritage

BOOKER PRIZE

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Context

  • The Booker Prize, one of the most prestigious awards in the literary world, has recently come under fire for the historical links to slavery of its original sponsor, Booker Group.

The Booker Prize

  • Initially named the Booker Prize for Fiction (1969–2001), later known as the Man Booker Prize (2002–2019).
  • Recognized for the best single work of sustained fiction in English, published in the UK or Ireland.
  • Winner receives £50,000 and significant international exposure, often resulting in increased book sales.

Establishment and Evolution

  • Founded in 1969, initially for Commonwealth writers, later expanded globally.
  • Annual award for a single work of English fiction.
  • Introduction of the International Booker Prize in 2004 for translated works.

Founders and Sponsorship

  • Co-founded by publishers Tom Maschler and Graham C Greene.
  • Sponsored by Booker Group Ltd from 1969 to 2001.
  • Booker Group Ltd, established in 1835, now owned by Tesco.
  • British investment firm Man Group sponsored from 2002, renaming it The Man Booker Prize.

Selection Process and Recognition

  • A panel of five individuals, including authors, publishers, journalists, and prominent figures from various fields, is appointed annually by the Booker Prize Foundation.
  • Greeted with anticipation and celebrated worldwide, the Booker Prize is a prestigious accolade in British literary culture.
  • Inclusion in the shortlist or nomination for the longlist is considered a significant honor for authors, noted by literary critics.

International Booker Prize

  • Awarded for a translated work of fiction published in the UK or Ireland.
  • Short story collections are eligible.
  • £50,000 prize money divided equally between the author and translator.

History and Administration

  • Established as the Booker Prize for Fiction in 1969, sponsored by Booker, McConnell Ltd.
  • Administration transferred to the Booker Prize Foundation in 2002, with Man Group as the title sponsor.
  • The Booker Prize Foundation is an independent charity funded by profits from Booker Prize Trading Ltd.
  • Prize money increased from £5,000 to £50,000 in 2002 under Man Group sponsorship.
  • Shortlisted authors receive £2,500 and a specially bound edition of their book.

Trophy Design

  • The original trophy was designed by artist Jan Pieńkowski, revived for the 2023 prize.

PRACTICE QUESTION

Q. The Booker Prize is an annual award given for:

A.A single work of non-fiction.

B.A single work of English fiction.

C.Poetry collections.

D.Biographies and autobiographies.

Answer:

B.  A single work of English fiction.