****UPDATE: AUSTRALIAN RICHARD FLANAGAN HAS WON THIS YEAR’S PRIZE****
This year’s winner of the Man Booker Prize will be announced tonight at a ceremony at London’s Guildhall, where the Duchess of Cornwall will present the shortlisted authors with designer bound editions of their books before the winner’s name is announced. For the first time two American novelists are in the running for the prize, worth £50,000–and past winner Peter Carey doesn’t think that’s a good thing at all. The Australian writer, a two-time winner of the Prize, told the Guardian that he is “not a fan of global marketing,” and that opening the Booker to Americans results in a loss of its “particular cultural flavor.”
Carey said that the unique “Commonwealth culture” of the old Booker is what made it what it was. “America doesn’t really feel to be a part of that.” Leaving aside the fact that the Booker Prize has always included novels from the Republic of Ireland – which is not in the Commonwealth – Carey might have a point. “I find it unimaginable that the Pulitzer or the National Book Award people in the United States would ever open their prizes to Brits and Australians. They wouldn’t.” Carey has not read any of the books on this year’s short list, except for The Narrow Road to the Deep North by fellow Australian Richard Flanagan.“Richard Flanagan clearly has to win. He’s our man. He’s a serious guy who can really, really write. I’ve got my fingers crossed for Richard.”*
What do you think about what Carey says? Is he right? Should American novelists be included or not?
*Carey must be a happy camper this evening