Man Booker International Prize to be Awarded Annually

Posted on July 11, 2015

The Booker Prize Foundation has announced the the Man Booker International Prize (MBI) will now be awarded annually. It is also joining forces with the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize which was founded in 1990.

The Man Booker International Prize will be for a single book rather than from a body of work. It will be awarded to a book or a short story collection written in a foreign language and translated into English. The winner's purse of £50,000 will be divided equally between the author and the translator. The MBI longlist of 12 or 13 books will be announced in March and the shortlist will be announced in April. The winner will be announced in May. The Prize will have a panel of 5 judges.

The Foundation explained why it is making some changes in the announcement. It says, "What the MBI Prize has highlighted is the paucity of foreign books available in the English speaking nations – known as 'the three per cent problem' because only three per cent of the titles published each year in the UK and America are translations from a foreign tongue (of which fiction accounts for just one per cent). Both sides miss out: readers are not getting the chance to discover great writers and those writers are not getting the readership they deserve. The excitement of finding a writer of the quality of, say, Krasznahorkai and Kadaré (the only two MBI winners not to write in English) is immeasurable and the new MBI seeks not just to reward individual authors but to encourage an ecology of translation in which publishers are emboldened to cast their nets outside the familiar waters of English-language fiction where there are rare and fabulous creatures who should be brought in."

Hungarian writer Laszlo Krasznahorkai won this year's Man Booker International Prize. Some of his works include The Melancholy of Resistance, Satantango and Seiobo There Below. The Booker Prize Foundation also published the Man Booker Prize, which is awarded annually to a book written in English anywhere in the world and published in Great Britain.