International Booker Prize

The International Booker Prize (formerly known as the Man Booker International Prize) is an international literary award hosted in the United Kingdom. The introduction of the International Prize to complement the Man Booker Prize was announced in June 2004.[1] Sponsored by the Man Group, from 2005 until 2015 the award was given every two years to a living author of any nationality for a body of work published in English or generally available in English translation.[2] It rewarded one author's "continued creativity, development and overall contribution to fiction on the world stage",[3] and was a recognition of the writer's body of work rather than any one title.

International Booker Prize
Inaugural winner Ismail Kadare
Awarded forBest book in English translation
CountryUnited Kingdom
Presented byMan Group
First awarded2005 (2005)

Since 2016, the award has been given annually to a single book in English translation, with a £50,000 prize for the winning title, shared equally between author and translator.[4]

2019 will be the final year of sponsorship by the Man Group, starting next year the award will be known as the International Booker Prize. [5]

Crankstart, the charitable foundation of Sir Michael Moritz and his wife, Harriet Heyman began supporting The Booker Prizes on 1 June 2019. From this date, the prizes will be known as The Booker Prize and The International Booker Prize. Of their support for The Booker Prize Foundation and the prizes, Moritz commented, ‘Neither of us can imagine a day where we don’t spend time reading a book. The Booker Prizes are ways of spreading the word about the insights, discoveries, pleasures and joy that spring from great fiction.’



Whereas the Man Booker Prize was open only to writers from the Commonwealth, Ireland and Zimbabwe, the International Prize was open to all nationalities who had work available in English including translations.[6] The award was worth £60,000 and given every two years to a living author's entire body of literature, similar to the Nobel Prize for Literature.[3] The Man Booker International prize also allowed for a separate award for translation. If applicable, the winning author could choose their translators to receive a prize sum of £15,000.[7] The 2005 inaugural winner of the prize was Albanian writer Ismail Kadare. Praising its concerted judgement, the journalist Hephzibah Anderson noted that the Man Booker International Prize was "fast becoming the more significant award, appearing an ever more competent alternative to the Nobel".[8]

Year Author Country Translator Language
2005 Ismail Kadare Albania N/A Albanian
2007 Chinua Achebe Nigeria N/A English
2009 Alice Munro Canada N/A English
2011 Philip Roth USA N/A English
2013 Lydia Davis USA N/A English
2015 László Krasznahorkai Hungary George Szirtes and Ottilie Mulzet Hungarian


In July 2015 it was announced that the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize would be disbanded.[4] The prize money from that award would be folded into the Man Booker International Prize, which would now act similarly to the Independent prize: awarding an annual book of fiction translated into English, with the £50,000 prize split between author and translator.[9] Each shortlisted author and translator receives £1,000. Its aim is to encourage publishing and reading of quality works in translation and to highlight the work of translators. Judges select a longlist of 12 or 13 books in March, followed by a shortlist of six in April, with the winner announced in May.[10]

Year Author Country Work Translator Language
2016 Han Kang South Korea The Vegetarian Deborah Smith Korean
2017 David Grossman Israel A Horse Walks Into a Bar Jessica Cohen Hebrew
2018 Olga Tokarczuk Poland Flights Jennifer Croft Polish
2019 Jokha al-Harthi Oman Celestial Bodies Marilyn Booth Arabic




Albanian novelist Ismail Kadare was named the inaugural International Prize winner in 2005.[11] Head judge, Professor John Carey said Kadare is "a universal writer in the tradition of storytelling that goes back to Homer."[11] Kadare said he was "deeply honoured" at being awarded the prize.[11] Kadare was also able to select a translator to receive an additional prize of £15,000.[11] The writer received his award in Edinburgh on 27 June.[11]

Judging panel

The nominees for the inaugural Man Booker International Prize were announced on 2 June 2005 at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.[3]



Nigerian author Chinua Achebe was awarded the International Prize for his literary career in 2007.[12] Judge Nadine Gordimer said Achebe was "the father of modern African literature" and that he was "integral" to world literature.[12] Achebe received his award on 28 June in Oxford.[12]

Judging panel

The nominees for the second Man Booker International Prize were announced on 12 April 2007 at Massey College in Toronto.[6]



Canadian short story writer Munro was named the winner of the prize in 2009 for her lifetime body of work.[13] Judge Jane Smiley said picking a winner had been "a challenge", but Munro had won the panel over.[13] On Munro's work, Smiley said "Her work is practically perfect. Any writer has to gawk when reading her because her work is very subtle and precise. Her thoughtfulness about every subject is so concentrated."[13] Munro, who said she was "totally amazed and delighted" at her win, received the award at Trinity College, Dublin on 25 June.[2][13]

Judging panel

The nominees for the third Man Booker International Prize were announced on 18 March 2009 at The New York Public Library.[16]



American novelist Roth was announced as the winner on 18 May 2011 at the Sydney Writers' Festival.[17] Of his win, Roth said "This is a great honour and I'm delighted to receive it."[17] The writer said he hoped the prize would bring him to the attention of readers around the world who are not currently familiar with his body of work.[17] Roth received his award in London on 28 June; however, he was unable to attend in person due to ill health, so he sent a short video instead.[17][18]

Judging panel

After Roth was announced as the winner, Carmen Callil withdrew from the judging panel, saying "I don't rate him as a writer at all... in 20 years' time will anyone read him?" Callil later wrote an editorial in The Guardian explaining her position and why she chose to leave the panel.[7][20]


The nominees for the fourth Man Booker International Prize were announced on 30 March 2011 at a ceremony in Sydney, Australia.[21] John le Carré asked to be removed from consideration, saying he was "flattered", but that he does not compete for literary prizes.[22] However, judge Dr Rick Gekoski said although he was disappointed that le Carré wanted to withdraw, his name would remain on the list.[22]



Lydia Davis, best known as a short story writer, was announced as the winner of the 2013 prize on 22 May at a ceremony at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.[23] The official announcement of Davis' award on the Man Booker Prize website described her work as having "the brevity and precision of poetry." Judging panel chair Christopher Ricks commented that "There is vigilance to her stories, and great imaginative attention. Vigilance as how to realise things down to the very word or syllable; vigilance as to everybody's impure motives and illusions of feeling."[24]

Judging Panel

The nominees for the fifth Man Booker International Prize were announced on 24 January 2013.[26] Marilynne Robinson was the only writer out of the ten nominees who had been nominated for the prize before.[26]



László Krasznahorkai became the first author from Hungary to receive the Man Booker award. The prize was given to recognise his "achievement in fiction on the world stage". British author Marina Warner, who chaired the panel of judges that selected Krasznahorkai for the award, compared his writing to Kafka and Beckett. Krasznahorkai's translators, George Szirtes and Ottilie Mulzet, shared the £15,000 translators' prize.[28]

Judging Panel

The nominees for the sixth Man Booker International Prize were announced on 24 March 2015.[29]



Han became the first Korean author to win the prize and, under the new format for 2016, Smith became the first translator to share the prize. British journalist Boyd Tonkin, who chaired the judging panel, said that the decision was unanimous. He also said of the book "in a style both lyrical and lacerating, it reveals the impact of this great refusal both on the heroine herself and on those around her. This compact, exquisite and disturbing book will linger long in the minds, and maybe the dreams, of its readers."[30]

Judging Panel[31]
Nominees (shortlist)
Nominees (longlist)

The nominees for the seventh Man Booker International Prize were announced on 14 April 2016.[32] The six nominees were chosen from a longlist of thirteen.[31][33]



Grossman became the first Israeli author to win the prize, sharing the £50,000 award with Cohen. The chair of the judging panel, Nick Barley, who is the director of the Edinburgh International Book Festival, described the book as "an ambitious high-wire act of a novel [that] shines a spotlight on the effects of grief, without any hint of sentimentality. The central character is challenging and flawed, but completely compelling." The novel won over 126 other contenders.[35]

Judging Panel
Nominees (shortlist)
Nominees (longlist)

The longlist for the eighth Man Booker International Prize was announced on 14 March 2017, and the shortlist on 20 April 2017. The winner was announced on 14 June 2017.[36][37]



Tokarczuk is the first Polish author to win the award,[40] and shared the prize with Croft.[41] Lisa Appignanesi, the chair of the judging panel, described Tokarczuk as a "writer of wonderful wit, imagination, and literary panache."[42]

Judging Panel
Nominees (shortlist)

The shortlist of six books was announced on 12 April 2018 at an event at Somerset House in London.

Nominees (longlist)
  • Laurent Binet (France), Sam Taylor (translator) for The 7th Function of Language (Harvill Secker)
  • Javier Cercas (Spain), Frank Wynne (translator), for The Impostor (MacLehose Press)
  • Jenny Erpenbeck (Germany), Susan Bernofsky (translator), for Go, Went, Gone (Portobello Books)
  • Ariana Harwicz (Argentina), Sarah Moses & Carolina Orloff (translators), for Die, My Love (Charco Press)
  • Christoph Ransmayr (Austria), Simon Pare (translator), for The Flying Mountain (Seagull Books)
  • Wu Ming-Yi (Taiwan), Darryl Sterk (translator), for The Stolen Bicycle (Text Publishing)
  • Gabriela Ybarra (Spain), Natasha Wimmer (translator), for The Dinner Guest (Harvill Secker)

The longlist for the ninth Man Booker International Prize was announced on 12 March 2018. The winner was announced on 22 May 2018 at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London.


The 2019 prize was judged by Bettany Hughes (Chair), Maureen Freely, Angie Hobbs, Pankaj Mishra and Elnathan John. The longlist for the Man Booker International Prize was announced on 13th March 2019.[43] The shortlist was announced on 9 April 2019.[44] The winner was announced on 21 May 2019; Jokha Alharthi is the first author writing in Arabic to have won the Man Booker International Prize.[45]

  • Love in the New Millennium by Can Xue (China), translated from the Chinese by Annelise Finegan Wasmoen (Yale University Press)
  • At Dusk by Hwang Sok-yong (South Korea), translated from the Korean by Sora Kim-Russell (Scribe)
  • Jokes for the Gunmen by Mazen Maarouf (Palestine-Iceland), translated from the Arabic by Jonathan Wright (Granta)
  • Four Soldiers by Hubert Mingarelli (France), translated from the French by Sam Taylor (Portobello)
  • Mouthful of Birds by Samanta Schweblin (Argentina), translated from the Spanish by Megan McDowell (Oneworld)
  • The Faculty of Dreams by Sara Stridsberg (Sweden), translated from the Swedish by Deborah Bragan-Turner (MacLehose Press)
  • The Death of Murat Idrissi by Tommy Wieringa (The Netherlands), translated from the Dutch by Sam Garrett (Scribe)


The 2020 prize will be judged by Ted Hodgkinson (Chair), Jennifer Croft, Valeria Luiselli, Jeet Thayil and Lucie Campos.[46]

See also


  1. "Readers debate world Booker prize". BBC News. 20 December 2004. Retrieved 22 May 2011.
  2. Crerar, Simon (27 May 2009). "Alice Munro announced as Man Booker International Prize winner". The Times. Retrieved 22 May 2011.
  3. "Spark heads world Booker nominees". BBC News. 18 February 2005. Retrieved 22 May 2011.
  4. Sarah Shaffi (7 July 2015). "'Reconfiguration' of Man Booker International Prize". The Bookseller. Retrieved 8 July 2015.
  5. "With Celestial Bodies, Omani author Jokha Alharthi becomes first Arabic-language writer to win Man Booker International Prize". SCMP. 22 May 2019. Retrieved 27 May 2019.
  6. "Atwood on World Booker shortlist". BBC News. 12 April 2007. Retrieved 22 May 2011.
  7. Callil, Carmen (21 May 2011). "Why I quit the Man Booker International panel". The Guardian. Retrieved 21 May 2011.
  8. Anderson, Hephzibah (31 May 2009). "Alice Munro: The mistress of all she surveys". The Guardian. Retrieved 28 May 2012.
  9. Michael Orthofer (8 July 2015). "Man Booker Independent International Foreign Fiction Prize". complete review. Retrieved 8 July 2015.
  10. "Evolution of the Man Booker International Prize announced | The Man Booker Prizes". Retrieved 18 May 2016.
  11. "Albanian wins first world Booker". BBC News. 2 June 2005. Retrieved 22 May 2011.
  12. "Nigeria author wins Booker honour". BBC News. 13 June 2007. Retrieved 22 May 2011.
  13. Flood, Alison (27 May 2009). "Alice Munro wins Man Booker International prize". The Guardian. Retrieved 22 May 2011.
  14. "James Kelman is UK's hope for Man Booker international prize" The Guardian. Accessed 22 October 2016
  15. "Ngugi Wa Thiong’o" Archived 23 October 2016 at the Wayback Machine Booker Prize Foundation. Accessed 22 October 2016
  16. "E.L. Doctorow Among Nominees For International Book Prize". Huffington Post. 18 March 2009. Retrieved 22 May 2011.
  17. "Philip Roth wins the Man Booker International Prize". BBC News. 18 May 2011. Retrieved 18 May 2011.
  18. "Philip Roth win divided panel, Man Booker judge admits". BBC News. 29 June 2011. Retrieved 30 June 2011.
  19. Roberts, Laura (19 May 2011). "Feminist judge resigns after Philip Roth wins Man Booker International Prize". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 22 May 2011.
  20. Flood, Alison (18 May 2011). "Judge withdraws over Philip Roth's Booker win". The Guardian. Retrieved 18 May 2011.
  21. Lea, Richard; Hill, Amelia (30 March 2011). "Man Booker Prize: Shortlist unveiled for the 'Olympics of literature'". The Guardian. Retrieved 22 May 2011.
  22. Ginnane, Virginia (30 March 2011). "Le Carre cold on book prize nomination". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 22 May 2011.
  23. Stock, Jon (22 May 2013). "Man Booker International Prize 2013: Lydia Davis wins". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 22 May 2013.
  24. "Lydia Davis wins the Man Booker International Prize 2013". Man Brooker Prize. 22 May 2013. Archived from the original on 26 August 2014. Retrieved 22 May 2013.
  25. Lea, Richard (24 January 2013). "Man Booker International prize 2013 reveals shortlist". The Guardian. Retrieved 26 April 2013.
  26. "Man Booker International Prize 2013 Finalists Announced". 24 January 2013. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 26 April 2013.
  27. "Hungarian Laszlo Krasznahorkai wins Man Booker International Prize". BBC News. 20 May 2015.
  28. "Man Booker International prize 2015 won by 'visionary' László Krasznahorkai". The Guardian. 19 May 2015. Retrieved 21 May 2015.
  29. "The Man Booker International Prize 2015 Finalists' List Announced". The Man Booker Prizes. 24 March 2015. Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 24 March 2015.
  30. "Han Kang's The Vegetarian wins Man Booker International Prize". BBC News. Retrieved 16 May 2016.
  31. Cain, Sian (14 April 2016). "'Exhilarating' Man Booker International shortlist spans the world". The Guardian. Retrieved 15 April 2016.
  32. Lusa, Agência. "José Eduardo Agualusa entre os finalistas do Man Booker International Prize 2016". Observador (in Portuguese). Retrieved 14 April 2016.
  33. The Man Booker International Prize 2016 Longlist Announced Retrieved 15 April 2016.
  34. AP. "David Grossman wins Man Booker International Prize". The Hindu. Retrieved 20 June 2017.
  35. "Man Booker International Prize: David Grossman wins for stand-up comic novel". BBC News. 15 June 2017. Retrieved 15 June 2017.
  36. "The Man Booker International Prize 2017 Longlist Announced".
  37. "The Man Booker International Prize 2017 shortlist announced".
  38. "Olga Tokarczuk of Poland Wins Man Booker International Prize". Retrieved 22 May 2018.
  39. "Flights by Olga Tokarczuk |". Retrieved 17 August 2018.
  40. "Man Booker International Prize: Olga Tokarczuk is first Polish winner". BBC News. Retrieved 24 May 2018.
  41. "Polish novelist Olga Tokarczuk wins Man Booker International Prize for translated novel 'Flights'". Retrieved 25 May 2018.
  42. "Olga Tokarczuk becomes first Polish winner of International Man Booker Prize". BT. 22 May 2018. Retrieved 22 May 2018.
  43. "Man Booker International 2019 longlist announced". Books+Publishing. 14 March 2019. Retrieved 18 March 2019.
  44. "Man Booker International Prize 2019 shortlist announced". Man Booker International. Retrieved 9 May 2019.
  45. Flood, Allison. "Man Booker International prize: Jokha Alharthi wins for Celestial Bodies". The Guardian. Retrieved 22 May 2019.
  46. "Judges announced for the 2020 International Booker Prize". The Booker Prize.
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