All 51 winners of the Man Booker from the last five decades are slated to be pitted against each other as The Booker Prize Foundation on Friday launched the Golden Man Booker Prize to mark its 50th anniversary.
This Golden Man Booker will crown the best work of fiction from the last five decades of the prize, as chosen by five judges and then voted for by the public.
Since it was first awarded in 1969, the Man Booker Prize has become the leading prize for quality fiction in English, with the winning books setting a benchmark against which other novels are judged. The Golden Man Booker will put all 51 winners – which are all still in print – back under the spotlight, to discover which of them has stood the test of time, remaining relevant to readers today.
Five judges have been appointed to read the winning novels from each decade of the prize.
Each judge will choose what, in his or her opinion, is the best winner from that particular decade, and will champion that book against the other judges’ selections.
The judges’ ‘Golden Five’ shortlist will be announced at the Hay Festival on 26 May 2018.
The five books will then be put to a month long public vote from 26 May to 25 June on the Man Booker Prize website to decide the overall winner, announced at the Man Booker 50 Festival on 8 July 2018.
Speaking about the initiative, Baroness Helena Kennedy, Chair of the Booker Prize Foundation said, ‘The very best fiction endures and resonates with readers long after it is written. I’m fascinated to
see what our panel of excellent judges – including writers and poets, broadcasters and editors – and the readers of today make of the winners of the past, as they revisit the rich Man Booker library.’
Luke Ellis, CEO of Man Group, went on to add, ‘We are delighted to be sponsoring the Man Booker Prize in its 50th year and celebrating outstanding fiction from the past half century, which remains as relevant and resonant as ever."
He also said, "The prize plays a meaningful role in recognising and supporting literary excellence that we are honoured to support."
The judges include writer and editor Robert McCrum (1970s); poet Lemn Sissay MBE (1980s); novelist Kamila Shamsie (1990s); broadcaster and novelist Simon Mayo (2000s); and poet Hollie McNish (2010s).