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Prestigious Man Booker fiction prize loses its main sponsor

Published:Thursday | January 31, 2019 | 12:00 AM
Marlon James, winner of the Man Booker Prize for Fiction 2015.


Britain’s leading literary award, the Man Booker Prize, faces uncertainty after its main financial backer announced it is ending its sponsorship after almost two decades.

Investment manager Man Group PLC says it will stop funding the Man Booker and Man Booker International prizes after 2019. The firm says it has donated £25 million (US$33 million) to the Booker Prize Foundation since 2002.

The prize foundation says its trustees “are in discussion with a new sponsor and are confident that the new funding will be in place for 2020.”

Founded in 1969, the prize was originally open to English-language writers from Britain, Ireland and the Commonwealth. American authors became eligible in 2014, a move that remains contentious.

The international prize, founded in 2005, goes to works in translation. Jamaican Marlon James won the award in 2015 for his book, A Brief History of Seven Killings. The book chronicles the attempted assassination of Bob Marley in 1976, and its aftermath.