Always highly anticipated in Britain, the Man Booker Prize extends its reach this year to include all novels originally written in English. The Man Booker previously excluded American writers, limiting eligibility to former members in the Commonwealth of Nations–formerly known as the British Commonwealth.
The Man Booker Prize is highly influential in publishing–an accolade that follows a winner for a lifetime. Even being “shortlisted” for the Man Booker Prize is something publishers print on the covers of books as long as they’re in print, and the honor of almost winning lives on perpetually in any so-selected writer’s biography. The 2014 Man Booker Prize “longlist”” was just announced–it includes four Americans among 13 contenders for the prize. The Americans on the 2014 list are Joshua Ferris (To Rise Again at a Decent Hour), Karen Joy Fowler (We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves), Siri Hustvedt (The Blazing World) and Richard Powers (Orfeo). A shortlist of six will be announced in September. In addition to recognition, the winner receives 50,000 pounds (about US$85,000).