HISTORY OF ENGLAND’S PRESTIGIOUS MAN BOOKER PRIZE IS THE SUBJECT OF NEW EXHIBITION AT THE MORGAN THIS FALL
England’s Man Booker Prize turned Possession into an instant best seller, propelled The English Patient and Life of Pi onto the screen, and made a star out of an advertising copywriter named Salman Rushdie. Throughout its history, it has been a dynamic force in marketing literary fiction, while drawing attention to questions about the critical, popular, and economic influences that shape cultural value and confer prestige. Given annually since 1969 to the “best novel in English” written by a citizen of the Commonwealth of Nations, Republic of Ireland, or Zimbabwe, the prize is now the prototype for literary awards around the world. Never without controversy or a chorus of detractors, the Booker has uniquely captured the British imagination and has helped shape a contemporary canon that reflects the expanded borders of the English-language novel today. Bookermania: 45 Years of the Man Booker Prize, on view September 13, 2013–January 5, 2014, is the first American exhibition to explore the world of this award and how it came to take its place in England’s colorful history of promoting the novel.