|Notes from a small island
A weblog by Jonathan Ali
Tuesday, September 02, 2003 Support for my opposition to the Americanisation of the Booker (or rather, no support for its Americanisation) from the Literary Saloon:
Elena Lappin offers an American look (or at least a look for Americans) at the Man Booker at Slate... noting that with this year's longlist "2003 seems to be the year of the moderately known to completely unknown novelist".
She takes this thing very seriously, insisting:
It is crucial to open this very important literary award to all the best writing in the English language -- including the United States. The Booker Prize would then cease to be a tacit celebration of the former British Empire and would come alive with the most powerful and exciting contemporary voices.
Why it is so important to do this we don't know -- why not just start up a new prize ?
Why not, indeed?
Still on the Booker, the UK Observer of August 31 has some remembrances by Martin Goff, the administrator of the Prize over the past thirty years, including this one about the famous hissy fit Salman Rushdie threw in 1983 when he lost out to South Africa's JM Coetzee:
He [Goff] recalled how the rarefied atmosphere of London's Guildhall did not stop Rushdie from venting his fury. 'He came out of the toilet and there were double doors, so he pushed one and I pushed the other. He stopped dead when he saw it was me, then he shouted "Fuck off!" and walked on.'
The Satanic Curses, anyone?
posted by Jonathan | 2:32 PM 0 comments