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Naipaul, Rushdie in race for ‘Golden Man Booker Prize’

Each of the five judges will choose what, in his or her opinion, is the best winner from a specific particular decade, and will champion that book against the other judges’ selections, the foundation said.

world Updated: Feb 16, 2018 19:33 IST
Prasun Sonwalkar
Prasun Sonwalkar
Hindustan Times, London
Golden Man Booker Prize,VS Naipaul,Salman Rushdie
Salman Rushdie is among the five Indian-origin contenders for the Golden Man Booker Prize(Image courtesy: Wikimedia Commons)

A one-off prize to mark the 50th anniversary of the Booker Prize will see five Indian-origin winners – including VS Naipaul and Salman Rushdie – face off against the best in the world of English fiction in a decision to be announced on July 8.

The Booker Prize Foundation launched the Golden Man Booker Prize to crown the best work of fiction from the last five decades of the prize, to be chosen by five judges and then voted for by the public. The prize has been awarded to 51 winners since its inception in 1969.

There have been five Indian-origin winners over the years, with several nominated for one of the prestigious awards in the English literary world; the five are Naipual (1971), Rushdie (1981), Arundhati Roy (1997), Kiran Desai (2006) and Aravind Adiga (2008).

The five judges appointed to read the winning novels from each decade of the prize are: writer and editor Robert McCrum (1970s); poet Lemn Sissay MBE (1980s); novelist Kamila Shamsie (1990s); broadcaster and novelist Simon Mayo (2000s); and poet Hollie McNish (2010s).

Each judge will choose what, in his or her opinion, is the best winner from that particular decade, and will champion that book against the other judges’ selections, the foundation said on Friday.

The judges’ ‘Golden Five’ shortlist will be announced at the Hay Festival on May 26; the five will then be put to a month-long public vote from May 26 to June 25 on the Man Booker Prize website to decide the overall winner, to be on July 8.

Helena Kennedy, chair of the foundation, said: “The very best fiction endures and resonates with readers long after it is written. I’m fascinated to see what our panel of excellent judges – including writers and poets, broadcasters and editors – and the readers of today make of the winners of the past, as they revisit the rich Man Booker library.”

The foundation is also organizing a Man Booker 50 Festival comprising events supported by retailers, libraries, publishers and readers across the world through online promotion. Readers have been revisiting previous winners for the ManBookerPrize50 challenge on Instagram.

First Published: Feb 16, 2018 19:26 IST