A new literary award, The Literature Prize, will be awarded to the best novel written in the English language and published in the UK in a given year, with the writer’s country of origin not a factor. The prize has been set up to “establish a clear and uncompromising standard of excellence”, with the advisory board claiming that the Man Booker Prize no longer does the job.
Andrew Kidd of Aitken Alexander is the spokesperson for the board, and has said the prize “will offer readers a selection of novels that, in the view of these expert judges, are unsurpassed in their quality and ambition” Judges are to be selected in rotation from an academy of experts in the field of literature. “For many years this brief was fulfilled by the Booker (latterly the Man Booker) Prize. But as numerous statements by that prize’s administrator and this year’s judges illustrate, it now prioritises a notion of ‘readability’ over artistic achievement,” “We believe though that great writing has the power to change us, to make us see the world a little differently from how we saw it before, and that the public deserves a prize whose sole aim is to bring to our attention and celebrate the very best novels published in our time.” Funding is being sourced.