Independent Foreign Fiction Prize to join forces with Man Booker International for new award

From 2016, the prize will be awarded annually on the basis of one book translated into English and published in the UK

Click to follow
The Independent Culture

The Independent Foreign Fiction Prize is to join forces with the Man Booker International Prize to take the celebration of translated fiction “to the next level”.

The Booker Prize Foundation today announced the two awards were to merge under the name of the Man Booker International Prize.

From 2016, the prize will be awarded annually on the basis of one book translated into English and published in the UK, following the terms of the Independent-backed prize. Novels and short story collections will be eligible.

Previously the Man Booker International awarded a prize every two years and was for a body of work.

The £50,000 prize will be equally divided between the winning author and their translator. Previously the Booker International prize was £37,500 and the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize was £10,000.

Boyd Tonkin, senior writer on The Independent, who has been on the judging panel for and a champion of the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize since 2000, will chair the judges of the 2016 Man Booker International Prize.

“Since its revival, the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize has through its record of success built a unique reputation as an annual showcase for the very best in global fiction, and for the precious art of the translator,” he said. The prize has honoured international authors including Orhan Pamuk, Milan Kundera and WG Sebald. This year it went to German author Jenny Erpenbeck for her book The End of Days.

“I am delighted that, through the newly configured Man Booker International Prize, even more readers will have the chance to encounter the finest fiction from around the world.”

The judges will select a longlist of 12 or 13 books, which will be announced in March 2016, with a short list of six revealed the following month. The winner will be announced in May.

Jonathan Taylor, chair of the Booker Prize Foundation, said: ‘One of the persistent observations of Man Booker International Prize judges has been that a substantial body of important literary fiction has not been translated into English.

“We very much hope that this reconfiguration of the prize will encourage a greater interest and investment in translation.”

Antonia Byatt, director of literature and South East at Arts Council England, which has supported the Independent Foreign Prize said its influence had grown over the past decade and added: “Over that time the prize’s influence has grown hugely and joining forces with the Man Booker International Prize will take the celebration of translated fiction to the next level.”

The Man Booker International winners, named every two years since its inauguration in 2005 have included Philip Roth and Chinua Achebe. This year it went to Laszlo Krasznahorkai.

Comments