Translators will be eligible for the Man Booker International Prize for the first time, from 2016. According to the new rules, the prize will also be awarded every year, instead of every two years.
Indian authors writing in regional languages have a reason to rejoice. One of the world’s most coveted prizes in the field of literature, the Man Booker International Prize, is all set to bring the translators to the forefront.
According to the new rules, translators will be eligible for the Man Booker International Prize from 2016. Also, the prize will now be given on an annual basis rather than being awarded every two years.
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In such a scenario, the prize money of £50,000 will be divided in equal amounts between the author and the translator. Additionally, all shortlisted authors and translators will receive a sum of £1,000. Both novels and short story collections stand to win this prize, so long as the book is published in Britain.
With the new rule, there is hope that more regional text from India will be translated. A large amount of work in India’s regional languages has gone unrecognised at the international forum.
Now the time has come for translators and regional authors, alike, to make their mark in the literary world.
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“Indian writers write both in English and in other languages, and are widely translated into English. So India is one of a handful of countries that will have authors in contention for both prizes. There are a large, and growing, number of excellent Indian novelists, writing both in English and in their mother tongues, such as Kannada and Bengali. The future looks very bright for Indian fiction.” – Fiammetta Rocco, Administrator of the Man Booker International Prize as quoted in an interview with The Times of India
She also goes on to say that, “Until last year, the Man Booker Prize for Fiction was open to all writers from the UK, the Commonwealth and Ireland. Starting in 2014, it was opened to all novelists writing in English and published in the UK, regardless of nationality. This development led us to rethink the remit of the International Prize. From 2016 it will be awarded every year instead of every two years, which is something we have long wanted to do. And it will be offered for a single book translated into English, rather than for a body of work, thus mirroring the Man Booker Prize for Fiction, which rewards a single book written in English.”
These changes have been made with the hope to make the award more accessible to authors who write in languages other than English.