The Americans are coming to storm Britain’s literary citadel.
Organizers of the Booker Prize announced Wednesday that starting next year authors from the U.S. — and around the world — will be eligible to win the prestigious fiction award.
Prize trustees said that starting in 2014, the prize will be open to all novels written in English and published in Britain, regardless of the author’s nationality.
Founded in 1969, the Booker has previously been open only to writers from Britain, Ireland and the 54-nation Commonwealth of former British colonies.
That has not kept the award — officially known as the Man Booker Prize after its sponsor, financial services firm Man Group PLC — from becoming one of the world’s best-known literary accolades, one that carries both prestige and commercial clout. Past winners include V.S. Naipaul, Salman Rushdie, Margaret Atwood, Ian McEwan and Hilary Mantel.
Jonathan Taylor, chairman of the prize trustees, said the expanded prize “will recognize, celebrate and embrace authors writing in English, whether from Chicago, Sheffield or Shanghai.”
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