Man Booker International Prize

Man Booker International Prize

Inaugural winner Ismail Kadare
Awarded for Best book in English translation
Country United Kingdom
Presented by Man Group
Reward(s) £50,000
First awarded 2005
Official website

The Man Booker International Prize is an international literary award hosted in the United Kingdom. The introduction of the International Prize to complement the Man Booker Prize was announced in June 2004.[1] Sponsored by the Man Group, from 2005 until 2015 the award was given every two years to a living author of any nationality for a body of work published in English or generally available in English translation.[2] It rewarded one author's "continued creativity, development and overall contribution to fiction on the world stage,"[3] and was a recognition of the writer's body of work rather than any one title.[2] The judges for the year compiled their own lists of authors, and submissions were not invited.[2]

Beginning in 2016, the award was significantly reconfigured.[4] It is now given annually to a single book in English translation, with a £50,000 prize for the winning title, shared equally between author and translator.[4]



While the Man Booker Prize was, from its beginning, only open to writers from the Commonwealth, Ireland and Zimbabwe (but later opened to authors from all over the world), the International Prize was open to all nationalities.[5] The award was worth £60,000 and an author could only win once.[3] The Man Booker International prize also allowed for a separate award for translation. The winning author could choose a translator of their work into English to receive a prize sum of £15,000.[6]

A similar prize to the original Man Booker International Prize is the Neustadt International Prize for Literature, also awarded biennially. By contrast, the Nobel Prize in Literature, the International Dublin Literary Award, and the Franz Kafka Prize are each awarded annually.


On Tuesday 7 July 2015, the Booker Prize Foundation announced that the Man Booker International Prize was to evolve from 2016 onwards into a prize for fiction in translation. Its aim is to encourage more publishing and reading of quality works in translation, and to highlight the work of translators. The award is now given annually to a book in English translation, with a £50,000 prize for the winning title to be shared equally between author and translator. Each shortlisted author and translator receives £1,000. This brings the total prize fund to £62,000 per year, compared to the previous £37,500 for the Man Booker International Prize and £10,000 for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize. The new Man Booker International Prize complements the Man Booker Prize. The judges select a longlist of 12 or 13 books in March, followed by a shortlist of six in April, with the winner announced in May.[7]


The inaugural winner was Albanian writer Ismail Kadare. He was followed by Nigerian writer Chinua Achebe in 2007, and two years later the Canadian writer Alice Munro won the award. In 2011 the prize was awarded to American Philip Roth. Praising its concerted judgement, the journalist Hephzibah Anderson noted that the Man Booker International Prize was "fast becoming the more significant award, appearing an ever more competent alternative to the Nobel".[8]

In 2015 it was announced that the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize would be disbanded.[4] The prize money from that award would be folded into the Man Booker International Prize, and the latter would become what the Independent prize used to be: a yearly book award for English translations, with the prize split between author and translator.[9]

Award winners

Year Name Work Translator Country Language(s) Literary tradition
2005 Ismail Kadare  Albania Albanian Albanian literature
2007 Chinua Achebe n/a  Nigeria English Nigerian literature
2009 Alice Munro n/a  Canada English Canadian literature
2011 Philip Roth n/a  United States English American literature
2013 Lydia Davis n/a  United States English American literature
2015 László Krasznahorkai  Hungary Hungarian Hungarian literature
2016 Han Kang The Vegetarian Deborah Smith  South Korea Korean Korean literature, South Korean literature




Albanian novelist Ismail Kadare was named the inaugural International Prize winner in 2005.[10] Head judge, Professor John Carey said Kadare is "a universal writer in the tradition of storytelling that goes back to Homer."[10] Kadare said he was "deeply honoured" at being awarded the prize.[10] Kadare was also able to select a translator to receive an additional prize of £15,000.[10] The writer received his award in Edinburgh on 27 June.[10]

Judging panel

The nominees for the inaugural Man Booker International Prize were announced on 2 June 2005 at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.[3]



Nigerian author Chinua Achebe was awarded the International Prize for his literary career in 2007.[11] Judge Nadine Gordimer said Achebe was "the father of modern African literature" and that he was "integral" to world literature.[11] Achebe received his award on 28 June in Oxford.[11]

Judging panel

The nominees for the second Man Booker International Prize were announced on 12 April 2007 at Massey College in Toronto.[5]



Canadian short story writer Munro was named the winner of the prize in 2009 for her lifetime body of work.[12] Judge Jane Smiley said picking a winner had been "a challenge", but Munro had won the panel over.[12] On Munro's work, Smiley said "Her work is practically perfect. Any writer has to gawk when reading her because her work is very subtle and precise. Her thoughtfulness about every subject is so concentrated."[12] Munro, who said she was "totally amazed and delighted" at her win, received the award at Trinity College, Dublin on 25 June.[2][12]

Judging panel

The nominees for the third Man Booker International Prize were announced on 18 March 2009 at The New York Public Library.[15]



American novelist Roth was announced as the winner on 18 May 2011 at the Sydney Writers' Festival.[16] Of his win, Roth said "This is a great honour and I'm delighted to receive it."[16] The writer said he hoped the prize would bring him to the attention of readers around the world who are not currently familiar with his body of work.[16] Roth received his award in London on 28 June; however, he was unable to attend in person due to ill health, so he sent a short video instead.[16][17]

Judging panel

After Roth was announced as the winner, Carmen Callil withdrew from the judging panel, saying "I don't rate him as a writer at all... in 20 years' time will anyone read him?" Callil later wrote an editorial in The Guardian explaining her position and why she chose to leave the panel.[6][19]


The nominees for the fourth Man Booker International Prize were announced on 30 March 2011 at a ceremony in Sydney, Australia.[20] John le Carré asked to be removed from consideration, saying he was "flattered", but that he does not compete for literary prizes.[21] However, judge Dr Rick Gekoski said although he was disappointed that le Carré wanted to withdraw, his name would remain on the list.[21]



Lydia Davis, best known as a short story writer, was announced as the winner of the 2013 prize on 22 May at a ceremony at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.[22] The official announcement of Davis' award on the Man Booker Prize website described her work as having "the brevity and precision of poetry." Judging panel chair Christopher Ricks commented that "There is vigilance to her stories, and great imaginative attention. Vigilance as how to realise things down to the very word or syllable; vigilance as to everybody's impure motives and illusions of feeling."[23]

Judging Panel

The nominees for the fifth Man Booker International Prize were announced on 24 January 2013.[25] Marilynne Robinson was the only writer out of the ten nominees who had been nominated for the prize before.[25]



László Krasznahorkai became the first author from Hungary to receive the Man Booker award in 2015. The prize was given to recognise his "achievement in fiction on the world stage". British author Marina Warner, who chaired the panel of judges that selected Krasznahorkai for the award, compared his writing to Kafka and Beckett. Krasnahorkai's translators, George Szirtes and Ottilie Mulzet, shared the £15,000 translators' prize.[27]

Judging Panel

The nominees for the sixth Man Booker International Prize were announced on 24 March 2015.[28]



Han became the first Korean author to win the prize and, under the new format for 2016, Smith became the first translator to share the prize. British journalist Boyd Tonkin, who chaired the judging panel, said that the decision was unanimous. He also said of the book "in a style both lyrical and lacerating, it reveals the impact of this great refusal both on the heroine herself and on those around her. This compact, exquisite and disturbing book will linger long in the minds, and maybe the dreams, of its readers."[29]

Judging Panel[30]
Nominees (shortlist)
Nominees (longlist)

The nominees for the seventh Man Booker International Prize were announced on 14 April 2016.[31] The six nominees were chosen from a longlist of thirteen.[30][32]

See also

For a more comprehensive overview a list of literary awards is available.


  1. 1 2 3 "Readers debate world Booker prize". BBC News. 20 December 2004. Retrieved 22 May 2011.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 Crerar, Simon (27 May 2009). "Alice Munro announced as Man Booker International Prize winner". The Times. Retrieved 22 May 2011.
  3. 1 2 3 "Spark heads world Booker nominees". BBC News. 18 February 2005. Retrieved 22 May 2011.
  4. 1 2 3 Sarah Shaffi (7 July 2015). "'Reconfiguration' of Man Booker International Prize". The Bookseller. Retrieved 8 July 2015.
  5. 1 2 3 4 5 "Atwood on World Booker shortlist". BBC News. 12 April 2007. Retrieved 22 May 2011.
  6. 1 2 Callil, Carmen (21 May 2011). "Why I quit the Man Booker International panel". The Guardian. Retrieved 21 May 2011.
  7. "Evolution of the Man Booker International Prize announced | The Man Booker Prizes". Retrieved 18 May 2016.
  8. Anderson, Hephzibah (31 May 2009). "Alice Munro: The mistress of all she surveys". The Guardian. Retrieved 28 May 2012.
  9. Michael Orthofer (8 July 2015). "Man Booker Independent International Foreign Fiction Prize". complete review. Retrieved 8 July 2015.
  10. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "Albanian wins first world Booker". BBC News. 2 June 2005. Retrieved 22 May 2011.
  11. 1 2 3 "Nigeria author wins Booker honour". BBC News. 13 June 2007. Retrieved 22 May 2011.
  12. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Flood, Alison (27 May 2009). "Alice Munro wins Man Booker International prize". The Guardian. Retrieved 22 May 2011.
  13. "James Kelman is UK's hope for Man Booker international prize" The Guardian. Accessed 22 October 2016
  14. "Ngugi Wa Thiong’o" Booker Prize Foundation. Accessed 22 October 2016
  15. "E.L. Doctorow Among Nominees For International Book Prize". Huffington Post. 18 March 2009. Retrieved 22 May 2011.
  16. 1 2 3 4 "Philip Roth wins the Man Booker International Prize". BBC News. 18 May 2011. Retrieved 18 May 2011.
  17. "Philip Roth win divided panel, Man Booker judge admits". BBC News. 29 June 2011. Retrieved 30 June 2011.
  18. 1 2 3 Roberts, Laura (19 May 2011). "Feminist judge resigns after Philip Roth wins Man Booker International Prize". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 22 May 2011.
  19. Flood, Alison (18 May 2011). "Judge withdraws over Philip Roth's Booker win". The Guardian. Retrieved 18 May 2011.
  20. Lea, Richard; Hill, Amelia (30 March 2011). "Man Booker Prize: Shortlist unveiled for the 'Olympics of literature'". The Guardian. Retrieved 22 May 2011.
  21. 1 2 Ginnane, Virginia (30 March 2011). "Le Carre cold on book prize nomination". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 22 May 2011.
  22. 1 2 Stock, Jon (22 May 2013). "Man Booker International Prize 2013: Lydia Davis wins". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2013-05-22.
  23. "Lydia Davis wins the Man Booker International Prize 2013". Man Brooker Prize. 22 May 2013. Retrieved 2013-05-22.
  24. 1 2 3 4 5 Lea, Richard (24 January 2013). "Man Booker International prize 2013 reveals shortlist". The Guardian. Retrieved 26 April 2013.
  25. 1 2 "Man Booker International Prize 2013 Finalists Announced". 24 January 2013. Retrieved 26 April 2013.
  26. "Hungarian Laszlo Krasznahorkai wins Man Booker International Prize". BBC News. May 20, 2015.
  27. "Man Booker International prize 2015 won by 'visionary' László Krasznahorkai". The Guardian. 19 May 2015. Retrieved 21 May 2015.
  28. 1 2 "The Man Booker International Prize 2015 Finalists' List Announced". The Man Booker Prizes. March 24, 2015. Retrieved March 24, 2015.
  29. "Han Kang's The Vegetarian wins Man Booker International Prize". BBC News. Retrieved 16 May 2016.
  30. 1 2 Cain, Sian (14 April 2016). "'Exhilarating' Man Booker International shortlist spans the world". The Guardian. Retrieved 15 April 2016.
  31. Lusa, Agência. "José Eduardo Agualusa entre os finalistas do Man Booker International Prize 2016". Observador (in Portuguese). Retrieved 14 April 2016.
  32. The Man Booker International Prize 2016 Longlist Announced Retrieved 15 April 2016.

External links

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