Wednesday, March 30, 2011


Finalists’ List Announced just announced in Sydney and The Bookman was there.

• Chinese writers feature in the list for the first time

• A more wide-ranging list, which includes best-selling international thriller writer John le Carré and crossover author Philip Pullman, pic left.

Thirteen writers have made it on to the judges’ list of finalists under serious consideration for the fourth Man Booker International Prize, the £60,000 award which recognises one writer for his or her achievement in fiction.

The authors come from eight countries, five are published in translation and there are four women on the list. One writer has previously won the annual Man Booker Prize for Fiction and two have been shortlisted. Famously, another, John le Carré, asked that his books should not be submitted for the annual prize to give less established authors the opportunity to win.

The Finalists’ List is announced by the chair of judges, Rick Gekoski, at a press conference held at the University of Sydney, today Wednesday 30 March 2011 at 10.30 (EST).

The thirteen authors on the list are:

- 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)
- Anne Tyler (USA)

The judging panel for the Man Booker International Prize 2011 consists of writer, academic and rare-book dealer Dr. Rick Gekoski (Chair), publisher, writer and critic Carmen Callil, and award-winning novelist Justin Cartwright.

Announcing the list, Rick Gekoski comments:

‘The 2011 List of Finalists honours thirteen great writers from around the world. It is, we think, diverse, fresh and thought-provoking, and serves to remind us anew of the importance of fiction in defining both ourselves and the world in which we live. Each of these writers is a delight, and any of them would make a worthy winner.

The Man Booker International Prize is awarded every two years to a living author who has published fiction either originally in English or whose work is generally available in translation in the English language.

The winner is chosen solely at the discretion of the judging panel; there are no submissions from publishers. Alice Munro won in 2009, Chinua Achebe in 2007 and Ismail Kadaré the inaugural prize in 2005. In addition, there is a separate award for translation and, if applicable, the winner may choose a translator of his or her work into English to receive a prize of £15,000.

The Man Booker International Prize winner will be announced at the Sydney Writers’ Festival on 18 May and the winner will be celebrated at an awards ceremony in London on 28 June 2011.

The prize is sponsored by Man Group plc, which also sponsors the Man Booker Prize for Fiction. The Man Booker International Prize is significantly different from the annual Man Booker Prize in that it highlights one writer’s continued creativity, development and overall contribution to fiction on the world stage. Both prizes strive to recognise and reward the finest modern literature.

The Judges

Rick Gekoski (Chair)
Dr Rick Gekoski is one of the world’s leading bookmen: a writer, rare-book dealer, broadcaster and academic. An American who came to England in 1966, and now a dual UK/US citizen, he has established two private presses, The Sixth Chamber Press and The Bridgewater Press, which issue finely printed editions of work by leading writers, novelists and poets. As a broadcaster he has written and delivered three series of ‘Rare Books, Rare People’ for BBC Radio 4, which he followed with two series of ‘Lost, Stolen, or Shredded: The History of Some Missing Works of Art’. Dr Gekoski teaches creative non-fiction for the Arvon Foundation, and sits on its Development Board. He was a judge of the annual Man Booker Prize for Fiction in 2005.
Rick Gekoski is well known in NZ which he visits regularly often participating in literary festivals while there.

Carmen Callil
Carmen Callil is a publisher, writer and critic. She was born in Melbourne, Australia, in 1938. In 1972 Ms Callil founded the publishing company, Virago, to publish books which celebrated women and women’s lives, literature and history. In 1982 she was appointed managing director of Chatto & Windus and The Hogarth Press where she remained until 1994, continuing, also, as chairman of Virago Press until 1995. In 1994 she was editor-at-large for Random House worldwide. Carmen was on the board of Channel 4 Television from 1985-1991. She served as a member of the management committee of the Booker Prize, 1979-1984; she was a founder director of The Groucho Club, London, 1984-1994; and in 1989 received the Distinguished Service Award from the International Women's Writing Guild.

Justin Cartwright
Justin Cartwright was born in 1945 in South Africa. He worked in advertising as a copywriter and progressed to making documentary films on a number of subjects, including the Dead Sea Scrolls and lions hunting at night in Africa. He has written 12 novels, among them In Every Face I Meet, which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 1995, and Leading the Cheers, which won the Whitbread Novel Award in 1998. Five of his novels have been shortlisted for the Whitbread Novel Award. The Promise of Happiness won the Hawthornden Prize in 2005 and The Sunday Times of South Africa’s Literary Prize. The Song Before It Is Sung, published in 2007 won the inaugural Jewish Cultural Award. His latest novel, Other People’s Money was published in March 2011. Justin Cartwright is a critic and a frequent contributor to BBC Radio 4’s Front Row and other cultural programmes. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

There was an excellent media turnout to the announcement made in the University of Sydney's new law building on the sprawling, attractive city campus. We were warmly welcomed by Professor Duncan Ivison, dean of the Faculty of Arts and Socail Sciences, who announced that every first year student at the university, regardless of what they were studying, was being given a free copy of Kate Grenville's novel, The Secret River.

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