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The Man Booker International Prize 2009 announces Judges’ list

The Man Booker International Prize 2009 announces Judges’ list

14 authors make Judges’ list

14 authors have made it on to the Judges' List of Contenders for the third Man Booker International Prize. The writers come from 12 countries and seven are writers in translation.  

The Judges' List was announced by the chair of judges, Jane Smiley, at a press conference held at The New York Public Library, today (Wednesday 18 March 2009).

The 14 authors on the list are as follows:

Peter Carey (Australia)

Evan S. Connell (USA)

Mahasweta Devi (India)

E.L. Doctorow (USA)

James Kelman (UK)

Mario Vargas Llosa (Peru)

Arnošt Lustig (Czech Republic)

Alice Munro (Canada)

V.S. Naipaul (Trinidad/India)

Joyce Carol Oates (USA)

Antonio Tabucchi (Italy)

Ngugi Wa Thiong'O (Kenya)

Dubravka Ugresic (Croatia)

Ludmila Ulitskaya (Russia)

The judging panel for the Man Booker International Prize 2009 is: Jane Smiley, writer; Amit Chaudhuri, writer, academic and musician; and writer, film script writer and essayist, Andrey Kurkov.

In announcing their list, Jane Smiley comments:

"Judging the Man Booker International Prize has made us all aware of how unusual and astonishing the literary world really is.  We've all read books by authors we had never heard of before and they have turned out to be some of the best books we've ever read.  I am thrilled with the list we have come up with.  It makes me wonder who else is out there untranslated into English.

"Some of the best writers in the world have come together on this judges' list regardless of celebrity or commercial success.  For us it's been a rare combination of education and delight."

Peter Clarke, Chairman, Man Group plc comments:

"We are delighted to announce the Judges' List for the 2009 Man Booker International Prize from The New York Public Library. New York is one of the world's most vibrant and cosmopolitan cities and is noted for its heritage of literary excellence, at the centre of which lies the magnificent New York Public Library. For a prize of such international standing it is therefore a wholly appropriate setting in which to announce what is a rich and diverse list and one which we hope will encourage lively debate. Man Group believes that the value of this unique prize, which recognises writers from all round the world, is in its contribution to encouraging more reading of contemporary fiction."

The Man Booker International Prize was announced in June 2004 and recognises one writer for his or her achievement in fiction.  Worth £60,000 to the winner, the prize is awarded once 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.  In addition, there is a separate prize for translation and, if applicable, the winner can choose a translator of his or her work into English to receive a prize of £15,000.

The winner is chosen solely at the discretion of the judging panel; there are no submissions from publishers.  Nigerian writer, Chinua Achebe, won the 2007 prize and Albanian writer, Ismail Kadaré, won the inaugural prize in 2005 and went on to gain worldwide recognition for his work.

The prize is sponsored by Man Group plc, which also sponsors The Man Booker Prize for Fiction.

The Man Booker International Prize differs from the annual Man Booker Prize for Fiction 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 fiction.


The Judges

Jane Smiley (Chair)

Born in Los Angeles, California, Jane Smiley was raised in St. Louis, Missouri. After receiving her B.A. at Vassar College in 1971, she travelled to Europe for a year, later returning to graduate school at the University of Iowa. Smiley is the author of ten works of fiction, including The Age of Grief, The Greenlanders, Ordinary Love and Good Will and A Thousand Acres, which won the Pulitzer Prize in 1992.

Amit Chaudhuri

Amit Chaudhuri is a novelist, critic, and musician. He is also the author of two acclaimed critical studies, a book of stories, and an influential anthology of Indian literature. He writes regularly for the London Review of Books and the Times Literary Supplement, and is Professor of Contemporary Literature at the University of East Anglia. Chaudhuri is a vocalist in the Indian classical tradition, and the conceptualiser of the acclaimed project in experimental music, This Is Not Fusion. His latest novel, The Immortals, is published in the UK this month.

Andrey Kurkov

Andrey Kurkov, born in St Petersburg in 1961, now lives in Kiev. Having graduated from the Kiev Foreign Languages Institute (he speaks English, German, French, Polish, Japanese, Italian and Romanian), he worked for some time as a journalist, did his military service as a prison warder in Odessa, then became a film cameraman, writer of screenplays and author of critically acclaimed and popular novels including Death and the Penguin, Penguin Lost, A Matter of Death and Life, The Case of the General's Thumb, The World of Mr Big Forehead, and The President's Last Love. He has also written one book for children, The Adventures of Baby Vacuum Cleaner Gosha.


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