Author quits Booker Prize adviser role to protest expansion

One author involved with the Man Booker Prize has already quit in protest after the news that the U.K. literary award is being opened up to allow authors of any nationality to win it.

During a press conference last week, Booker Prize Foundation chair Jonathan Taylor announced that the prize would now allow submissions from all novels originally written in English and published in the U.K., regardless of the nationality of the author. In previous years, only citizens in the U.K., Ireland, the Commonwealth or Zimbabwe could win the prize. The decision has been under consideration since 2011, trustees said at a press conference.

In short, American authors will now be able to win the £50,000 Booker Prize for the first time. There is also concern that the new regulations will take away from the Man Booker International Prize, which is already open to international authors and is meant to honour a lifetime or work, rather than a single book.

Lady Antonia Fraser, an Irish author, told the London Evening Standard that she has resigned from an advisery panel for the Man Booker International Prize because she wasn’t consulted on the decision. “I have resigned from the committee since I was not warned about this when I was asked to join in August,” she told the newspaper.

Antonia served as a Man Booker judge in 1970 and 1971.

Past British Booker winners have also expressed their displeasure in the change, with 2010 winner Howard Jacobson telling The Telegraph that the foundation had made the “wrong decision.”

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