You are here

William Hill announces odds for Man Booker International Prize

William Hill announces odds for Man Booker International Prize

Australian Peter Carey is favourite to win

- Australian Peter Carey is favourite to win

- The USA has three writers with 10/1 odds or better

The winner of the Man Booker International Prize 2009 will be announced on Wednesday 27th May ahead of the award ceremony in Dublin on Thursday 25th June. In anticipation of the winner announcement, the bookmakers William Hill have released the odds for the writers on the list of contenders.

The William Hill odds for the Man Booker International Prize 2009 are as follows:

Peter Carey (Australia) - 6/1

Arnošt Lustig (Czech Republic) - 7/1

V.S. Naipaul (Trinidad/India) - 8/1

Evan S. Connell (USA) - 9/1

E.L. Doctorow (USA) - 10/1

Joyce Carol Oates (USA) - 10/1

Mahasweta Devi (India) - 12/1

Ngugi Wa Thiong'O (Kenya) - 12/1

Ludmila Ulitskaya (Russia) - 12/1

Antonio Tabucchi (Italy) - 14/1

Alice Munro (Canada) - 16/1

James Kelman (UK) - 20/1

Mario Vargas Llosa (Peru) - 20/1

Dubravka Ugresic (Croatia) - 20/1

Australian Peter Carey, author of Oscar and Lucinda and True History of the Kelly Gang, for both of which he was awarded a Man Booker Prize for Fiction, is the favourite to win with odds of 6/1. He is closely followed by Czech author, Arnošt Lustig, who has odds of 7/1 and another Man Booker Prize for Fiction winner, Indian author V.S. Naipaul who has odds of 8/1.

UK author James Kelman, Peruvian author Mario Vargas Llosa and Croatian author Dubravka Ugresic are given an outside chance at 20/1.

The judges' decision will be announced on Wednesday 27th May and the award ceremony will take place at Trinity College, Dublin on Thursday 25th June.

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

The launch of the Man Booker International Prize was first 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.


For up to date information please visit or

For press enquiries please contact:

Caroline Brown at Colman Getty on +44 (0)20 7631 2666


Mark Hutchinson at Colman Getty on 07904 359339


For enquiries about the William Hill odds please contact:

Graham Sharpe at William Hill







Notes to Editors

•·        The Man Booker International Prize is unique in the world of literature in that it can be won by an author of any nationality, providing that his or her work is available in the English language.  It is awarded every second year.  An author can only win the award once


If applicable and in accordance with the rules of the separate prize for translation, the winner can choose a translator or translators of his or her work into English to receive a prize of £15,000


The Administrators of the Man Booker International Prize are Fiammetta Rocco and Ion Trewin - also Literary Director of the Man Booker Prize for Fiction


Photographs of the judges are available from Colman Getty


Colman Getty handles PR and event management for the prize and provides administrative back-up


The Man Booker International Prize website includes detailed information about all aspects of the prize and runs regular news bulletins:


The Advisory Committee, which advises on any changes to the rules and on the selection of the judges, represents all sides of the book world. Its members are: Ion Trewin, Chair (Literary Director, Man Booker Prizes); Richard Cable, publisher; Mark Chilton, Company Secretary, Booker Ltd; Peter Clarke, Chief Executive, Man Group plc; Jonathan Douglas, Director of the National Literacy Trust; Victoria Glendinning, writer; Basil Comely, BBC TV; Derek Johns, literary agent; Gerry Johnson, Managing Director, Waterstone's; Nigel Newton, publisher; Fiammetta Rocco, literary editor, The Economist (Man Booker International Prize administrator); Eve Smith (Company Secretary, the Booker Prize Foundation);  Robert Topping, Topping & Company Booksellers and Erica Wagner, literary editor, The Times.


The Booker Prize Foundation is a registered charity (no 1090049) which, since 2002, has been responsible for the award of the prize. The trustees of the Booker Prize Foundation are former Chairman of Booker plc, Jonathan Taylor CBE (Chair); Lord Baker of Dorking CH; playwright and President of the Royal Literary Fund, Ronald Harwood CBE; former Chair of the British Council, Baroness Kennedy QC; writer, Baroness Neuberger DBE; MEP Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne; and former Finance Director of Rentokil plc, Christopher Pearce. Martyn Goff CBE, former Man Booker Prize administrator, has recently been appointed President of the Foundation.


The Man Booker International Prize is sponsored by Man Group plc. Man is a world-leading alternative investment management business. With a broad range of funds for institutional and private investors globally, it is known for its performance, innovative product design and investor service. Man manages about USD50 billion and employs around 1,8OO people in 14 countries worldwide. The original business was founded in 1783. Today, Man Group plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a member of the FTSE 1OO Index, with a market capitalisation of over USD6 billion. Man Group is a member of the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index and the FTSE4Good Index.


Man supports many awards, charities and initiatives around the world, including sponsorship of the Man Booker literary prizes. In the year to March 2OO8 the Man Group plc Charitable Trust gave 12% of its USD12m charitable budget to charities concerned with improving literacy. A major contribution in the literacy category was a £1m pledge to the ‘Every Child a Reader' reading recovery programme spread over three years from 2OO6. Other sizeable donations were made to Dyslexia Action and Kids Company Reading Recovery Teachers, whilst smaller contributions were made to Write to Life, Bookaid International, Volunteer Reading Help, The Shannon Trust, RNIB Talking Books and St. Petrock's (Exeter). Further information can be found at


Booker is the UK's leading food wholesaler with over 170 branches nationwide.  It serves over 350,000 independent businesses.


William Hill was the first company to introduce literary betting to clients some thirty years ago. Starting with the Booker Prize for Fiction, they now bet on all major literary prizes - excluding their own annual £20,000 William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award