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Man Booker Prize will now be open to any novel written in English

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(Read caption) Two of this year's nominees for the Man Booker Prize are 'The Lowland' by Jhumpa Lahiri and 'The Testament of Mary' by Colm Tóibín.

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Well, Man Booker Prize literary director Ion Trewin did say there was more to the story when he was asked whether Americans would qualify for the award next year.

Those behind the prize have announced that not only will American writers be able to receive the Booker next year but any novel that is released in English and is published in the UK could get the prize starting in 2014.

Before now, only writers from the UK, Ireland, or countries belonging to the Commonwealth of Nations qualified for the Booker.

When rumors swirled last week that the Booker would be open to American writers starting next year, Trewin told the Guardian, “The information which is currently in circulation is incomplete” and said the announcement would come this week.

Booker Prize Foundation chair Jonathan Taylor said in a statement that the trustees originally considered making a separate prize for American writers but that “at the end of the process we were wary of jeopardizing or diluting the existing Man Booker Prize. Instead we agreed that the prize, which for 45 years has been the touchstone for literary fiction written in English of the highest quality, could enhance its prestige and reputation through expansion, rather than by setting up a separate prize... We are embracing the freedom of English in its versatility, in its vigor, in its vitality and in its glory wherever it may be. We are abandoning the constraints of geography and national boundaries.”

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