Award Recap: Man Booker Prize 2013

Yesterday, the Man Booker Prize announced its 2013 winner: The Luminaries, by Eleanor Catton.

This is one of most prestigious literary prizes out there, and to win it is an incredible honor and push for an author. Past winners include V.S. Naipaul’s In a Free State (1971), Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children (1981), J.M. Coetzee’s Life & Times of Michael K (1983), A.S. Byatt’s Possession (1990), Yann Martel’s Life of Pi (2002), and of course last year’s winner, Hilary Mantel’s Bring Up the Bodies.

The award was initially sponsored by Booker-McConnell, and called the Booker-McConnell Prize, or simply “The Booker Prize,” until the Man Group invested in the early 2000s. When the Man Group invested, the named changed to the Man Booker Prize and it became one of the richest literary prizes in the world.

Up until now, the Prize has only been eligible to authors living in the United Kingdom, a commonwealth such as Australia or Canada, Ireland or Zimbabwe. Starting next year, however, the Prize will be available to anywhere in the world. This decision has generated quite a bit of discussion in the literary world. Some people preferred the selective nature of the Prize; it’s developed as a brand for this award. Some are excited, however, that authors from the United States, another previously excluded countries, can now enter.

Eleanor Catton, the New Zealand author of The Luminaries and the winner of this year’s award, is the youngest winner of the Prize, at only 28 years old. In addition, The Luminaries is the longest novel to win, at 832 pages.

In addition to receiving the Prize, Catton also celebrated the U.S. release of her book yesterday.

The Luminaries beat out quite a list of contenders. I’ve got them listed below, and I hope to get the chance to read them all soon:

 

The Shortlist

A Tale for the Time Being, by Ruth Ozeki
Harvest, by Jim Crace
The Lowland, by Jhumpa Lahiri
The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton
The Testament of Mary, by Colm Toibin
We Need New Names, by NoViolet Bulawayo

 

The Longlist

A Tale for the Time Being, by Ruth Ozeki
Almost English, by Charlotte Mendelson
Five Star Billionaire, by Tash Aw
Harvest, by Jim Crace
The Kills, by Richard House
The Lowland, by Jhumpa Lahiri
The Luminaries, by Eleanor Catton
The Marrying of Chani Kaufman, by Eve Harris
The Spinning Heart, by Donal Ryan
The Testament of Mary, by Colm Toibin
TransAtlantic, by Colum McCann
Unexploded, by Alison MacLeod
We Need New Names, by NoViolet Bulawayo
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About katepadilla

I write for the Spencer Daily Reporter in Spencer, Iowa. I keep blogs lifebythebooks, Save Me, San Francisco, and Beauty and Beast Buy a House. I'm also hard at work writing a short story collection inspired by the music of Train.

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