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Man Booker Prize launches student reading programme

Man Booker Prize launches student reading programme

18,000 students to benefit from initiative

Along with their kettle and corkscrew, nearly 18,000 freshers will be armed with a Man Booker Prize novel when they start university this autumn as the Booker Prize Foundation rolls out its student reading programme.

Regardless of their chosen area of study, first year students joining five of the UK's leading universities will be required to read a selected winning or shortlisted Man Booker Prize novel before the autumn term begins. The universities taking part are: Imperial College, London; Liverpool University; Newcastle University; St Andrews University and the University of East Anglia. In addition, Georgetown University, Washington, has initiated a similar programme in the US.

Jonathan Taylor CBE, Chair of the Booker Prize Foundation, comments, "Whether studying humanities or sciences - physics, economics, history or whatever - the freshman class will have a topic in common: a Man Booker Prize novel to discuss, to argue about or even to praise. In this way we will help to bridge the two cultures and encourage an appreciation of the best contemporary literary fiction."

The students across the five universities were sent their Man Booker Prize book to read over the summer. The authors of the featured books will visit the universities during the autumn term and will take part in a combination of workshops, lectures and reading groups.

This autumn term:

• Lloyd Jones will discuss his 2008 shortlisted book Mister Pip at St Andrews on 7 and 8 October and Liverpool University on 13 October

• 2009 shortlisted author Simon Mawer will talk about The Glass Room at Imperial College, London on 11 and 13 October

• 1989 Man Booker Prize winner Kazuo Ishiguro will visit Newcastle University to discuss his 2005 shortlisted novel Never Let Me Go on 14 and 15 October

• Hisham Matar will discuss In the Country of Men, which was shortlisted in 2006, at the University of East Anglia in late October

This initiative was launched in 2009 when shortlisted authors Mohsin Hamid and Sebastian Barry spoke respectively to first year students at St Andrews, Scotland and Georgetown University, Washington. This initial success encouraged the Booker Prize Foundation to extend the programme to the additional four universities, with plans to expand further in 2011.

The scheme is jointly funded by the Booker Prize Foundation and the individual universities.

For further information about the prize please visit or follow the prize on Twitter at

For further details about the universities programme please contact

Jill Cotton or Lucy Chavasse at Colman Getty, Tel: 020 7631 2666

E-mail: [email protected] or [email protected]

Notes to Editors:

• The shortlist for the 2010 Man Booker Prize for Fiction was announced on 7 September and the winner will be announced on Tuesday 12 October at a dinner at London's Guildhall. The announcement will be broadcast on BBC News across television, radio and online.

• The Booker Prize for Fiction was first awarded in 1969, and Man was announced as the sponsor of the prize in April 2002, with a five year extension agreed in 2006. For a full history of the prize including previous winners, shortlisted authors and judges visit the website: It is a major media and information tool which is accessed worldwide with up to the minute information about both the annual prize and the biennial Man Booker International Prize. Featuring news, interviews and written pieces as well as a lively forum and full history archive of the prize, the site is used by journalists, bloggers and general members of the public on a daily basis.

• The Advisory Committee, which advises on any changes to the rules and on the selection of the judges, represents all sides of the book world. Its members are: Ion Trewin, Chair (Literary Director, Man Booker Prizes); Richard Cable, publisher; Mark Chilton, Company Secretary, Booker Ltd; Jon Aisbitt, Chairman, Man; Jonathan Douglas, Director of the National Literacy Trust; Maggie Fergusson, writer and Secretary of the Royal Society of Literature; Basil Comely, BBC TV; Derek Johns, literary agent; Peter Kemp, formerly Chief Fiction Reviewer, The Sunday Times; Dominic Myers, Managing Director of Waterstone's; Nigel Newton, publisher; Fiammetta Rocco, literary editor, The Economist (Man Booker International Prize administrator); Eve Smith (Company Secretary, the Booker Prize Foundation); and Robert Topping; Topping & Company Booksellers.

• The Booker Prize Foundation is a registered charity (no 1090049) which, since 2002, has been responsible for the award of the prize. The trustees of the Booker Prize Foundation are former Chairman of Booker plc, Jonathan Taylor CBE (Chair); Lord Baker of Dorking CH; playwright and President of the Royal Literary Fund, Sir Ronald Harwood CBE; former Chair of the British Council, Baroness Kennedy QC; broadcaster, James Naughtie; biographer, Victoria Glendinning; writer, Baroness Neuberger DBE and former Finance Director of Rentokil plc, Christopher Pearce. Martyn Goff CBE, former Man Booker Prize administrator, is President of the Foundation and Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne is a Vice President.

• The Man Booker Prize is sponsored by Man, a world-leading alternative investment management business. With a broad range of funds for institutional and private investors globally, it is known for its performance, innovative product design and investor service. Man manages around $39 billion.

The original business was founded in 1783. Today, Man is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a member of the FTSE 100 Index with a market capitalisation of around £4 billion.

• Man is a member of the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index and the FTSE4Good Index. Man also supports many awards, charities and initiatives around the world, including sponsorship of the Man Booker literary prizes.

• Further information can be found at

• Booker is the UK's leading food wholesaler with over 170 branches nationwide. It serves over 350,000 independent businesses.