Booker International Prize postponed over coronavirus

Booker International Prize postponed over coronavirus

The awarding of the £50,000 International Booker Prize is being postponed from May until later in the summer because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

This year's winner was due to be announced on 19th May but the Booker Prize Foundation said it wanted to make sure readers could get their hands on the shortlist. A new date will be announced in due course, the foundation said.

The shortlist was announced online earlier this month, featuring Hurricane Season by Fernanda Melchor, translated by Sophie Hughes (Fitzcarraldo), The Adventures of China Iron by Gabriela Cabezón Cámara, translated by Iona Macintyre and Fiona Mackintosh (Charco), The Enlightenment of the Greengage Tree by Shokoofeh Azar with an anonymous translator (Europa), The Discomfort of Evening by Marieke Lucas Rijneveld, translated by Michele Hutchinson (Faber & Faber), The Memory Police by Yoko Ogawa, translated by Stephen Snyder (Harvill Secker), and Daniel Kehlmann’s Tyll, translated by Ross Benjamin (Quercus).

Plans will also be unveiled to re-promote the shortlist in the lead-up to the winner announcement.

Gaby Wood, literary director of the Booker Prize Foundation, said: “after careful consideration, we’ve decided on this course of action to ensure that the shortlist, and ultimately the winner, can be celebrated at a time when readership of these exceptional novels is made easier for everyone. As the world begins to recover, their contents will be found all the more rewarding for being, in effect, a form of travel.”

The International Booker Prize is awarded every year for a single book that is translated into English and published in the UK or Ireland. The contribution of both author and translator is given equal recognition, with the £50,000 prize split between them.

The awarding of the Women's Prize for Fiction has also been postponed, from June to September, because of the coronavirus pandemic.