The Australian city of Sydney will play an important role in the fourth Man Booker International Prize. The University of Sydney will host the press conference to announce the Judges' list of finalists on 30 March, and the winner of the £60,000 prize will be announced at the Sydney Writers' Festival on 18 May.
The three judges for the Man Booker International Prize 2011 - the writer, academic and rare-book dealer Dr. Rick Gekoski (Chair), award-winning novelist Justin Cartwright, and the Melbourne-born publisher, writer and critic Carmen Callil - will be in the city to announce their list of the writers who are under serious consideration for the prize at the end of March. On the same day the University will also host a panel discussion with the judges looking at how they reached their decision.
The Man Booker International Prize recognises one writer for his or her achievement in fiction. Worth £60,000 to the winner, the prize is awarded every two years to a living author who has published fiction either originally in English or whose work is generally available in translation in the English language.
The winner is chosen solely at the discretion of the judging panel; there are no submissions from publishers. Alice Munro won in 2009, Chinua Achebe in 2007 and Ismail Kadaré the inaugural prize in 2005. In addition, there is a separate award for translation and, if applicable, the winner can choose a translator of his or her work into English to receive a prize of £15,000.
The University of Sydney is also taking part in The Booker Prize Foundation University Project which sees every first-year student regardless of their chosen area of study, given something to share in common through reading the same book and having the opportunity to meet the author. The author has a link with the Man Booker annual prize, having either previously won or been shortlisted. The first year undergraduates at the University this year have received Kate Grenville's The Secret River which was shortlisted in 2006.
The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sydney, Dr Michael Spence said: "We are very pleased to be associated with the Man Booker International Prize. For over 150 years people at this university have been thinking, discussing and writing about ideas and their consequences. Many of Australia's leading writers, including Kate Grenville, began their careers here and I'm sure many will follow in their footsteps."
The Man Booker International Prize winner, having been announced at the Sydney Writers' Festival on 18 May will be celebrated at an awards ceremony in London on 28 June 2011.
The prize is sponsored by Man Group plc, which also sponsors the Man Booker Prize for Fiction. The Man Booker International Prize is significantly different from the annual Man Booker Prize for Fiction in that it highlights one writer's overall contribution to fiction on the world stage. In seeking out literary excellence the judges consider a writer's body of work rather than a single novel.