The World SF Blog

Speculative Fiction from Around the World

The Man Booker Not-So-International Prize?

American author Philip Roth was awarded the Man Booker International Prize this week. The award is worth £60,000. The Guardian reports that “Author and publisher Carmen Callil has withdrawn from the judging panel” – composed of herself, “rare book dealer and author Rick Gekoski, who acted as chair, and novelist Justin Cartwright” – due to the decision.

In her Guardian Review column, Callil also writes of her disappointment that the prize failed to celebrate writers in translation – the shortlist also included the Chinese authors Wang Anyi and Su Tong, the Spanish Juan Goytisolo, Italian Dacia Maraini and Lebanese Amin Maalouf – honouring instead “yet another North American writer”.

The chair of the award added: “Obviously [writers in translation] have a disadvantage and there’s no sense pretending they don’t, of being read in translation. They are disenfranchised in that way.”


May 19, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized |


  1. Why am I not surprised a North American won the international prize. Fair dues to Callil for taking the stand she did.

    Comment by John Kenny | May 19, 2011

  2. Surprisingly the Americans won the Baseball World Series too! They also killed Obama…

    Wow, this year is shaping up pretty swell for them!

    Comment by Radu Romaniuc | May 19, 2011

    • In a recent informal survey in the US, conducted by a friend of a friend of mine, people were asked what percentage of the world’s population was accounted for by US citizens. The most common answer 50%! Now I have to state that this survey was conducted in New Mexico, but still…

      Comment by John Kenny | May 19, 2011

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