Ron Charles argues that Booker Prize should return to its roots as a prize just for Britain and Commonwealth authors

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Ron Charles argues that Booker Prize should return to its roots as a prize just for Britain and Commonwealth authors

Sep 24 2017

Prompted by last week's announcement of the Booker Prize shortlist (Britain's most prestigious literary award), with half of the six nominees being American writers, Ron Charles expresses sadness that the award is now open to all writing in English rather than just to authors in Britain and Commonwealth countries (essentially, most of Britain's former colonies).

"...As flattering as it is for our nation’s novelists to be invited into the U.K.’s literary arena, Americans don’t need any encouragement to trumpet their own books. As a nation, we’re already depressingly xenophobic when it comes to our reading choices. While bookstores all over the world carry books by Americans, bookstores in the U.S. usually reserve a tiny, dusty shelf called “books in translation.” (So strong is this bias against non-American writers that a New York publisher once told me that she planned to omit “Canadian” from an author’s bio on the jacket flap.)"

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