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Man Booker International Prize 2011: Winner Announced

Man Booker International Prize 2011: Winner Announced

Philip Roth announced as winner of fourth Man Booker International Prize

Philip Roth is today announced as the winner of the fourth Man Booker International Prize at a press conference at the Sydney Opera House. Roth was chosen from a list of 13 eminent contenders including, for the first time, two Chinese novelists.

The Man Booker International Prize, worth £60,000, is awarded for an achievement in fiction on the world stage. It is presented once every two years to a living author for a body of work published either originally in English or widely available in translation in the English language. It has previously been awarded to Ismail Kadaré in 2005, Chinua Achebe in 2007 and Alice Munro in 2009.

Philip Roth is a literary giant and one of the world's most prolific, celebrated - and controversial - writers. When asked to name a living American who inspired him, Bruce Springsteen chose Roth, commenting, ‘....making work that is so strong, so full of revelations about love and emotional pain, that's the way to live your artistic life. Sustain, sustain, sustain.'

Born in March 1933 in New Jersey, Roth is best known for his 1969 novel Portnoy's Complaint, and for his late-1990s trilogy comprising the Pulitzer Prize-winning American Pastoral (1997), I Married a Communist (1998), and The Human Stain (2000).

Roth is the most decorated living American writer. He won the National Book Award at 26 for his first book, Goodbye, Columbus in 1960, and in 1995 for Sabbath's Theater. He has won two National Book Critics Circle awards, for The Counterlife in 1987 and Patrimony: A True Story in 1991, and three PEN/Faulkner awards for Operation Shylock in 1994, The Human Stain in 2001 and Everyman in 2007. He won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1998 for his novel, American Pastoral. In 2001 he was awarded the gold medal for fiction by The American Academy of Arts and Letters. His most recent awards include the PEN/Nabokov Award in 2006, and in 2007 he became the first recipient of the Pen/Saul Bellow Award for Achievement in American Fiction.

Philip Roth lives in Connecticut, USA. His most recent book, Nemesis, was published in 2010.

The judging panel for the Man Booker International Prize 2011 consists of writer, academic and rare-book dealer Dr Rick Gekoski (Chair), publisher, writer and critic Carmen Callil, and award-winning novelist Justin Cartwright.

Announcing the winner, Rick Gekoski comments:

"For more than 50 years Philip Roth's books have stimulated, provoked and amused an enormous, and still expanding, audience. His imagination has not only recast our idea of Jewish identity, it has also reanimated fiction, and not just American fiction, generally.

"His career is remarkable in that he starts at such a high level, and keeps getting better. In his 50s and 60s, when most novelists are in decline, he wrote a string of novels of the highest, enduring quality. Indeed, his most recent, Nemesis (2010), is as fresh, memorable, and alive with feeling as anything he has written. His is an astonishing achievement."

Philip Roth comments:

"I would like to thank the judges of the Man Booker Prize for awarding me this esteemed prize. One of the particular pleasures I've had as a writer is to have my work read internationally despite all the heartaches of translation that that entails. I hope the prize will bring me to the attention of readers around the world who are not familiar with my work. This is a great honour and I'm delighted to receive it."

The winner of the Man Booker International Prize 2011 is announced from Sydney during the Sydney Writers' Festival. A festival event on 19 May will feature an exclusive filmed interview with Roth by novelist and critic Benjamin Taylor. The chair of the judges, Rick Gekoski, will discuss the judging process which saw much passionate debate over different candidates and how the winner was eventually decided.

Roth's award will be celebrated at a formal dinner 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 in that it highlights one writer's continued creativity, development and overall contribution to fiction on the world stage. Both prizes strive to recognise and reward the finest modern literature.


For up-to-date information please visit

For press enquiries please contact:

London: Kate Wright-Morris at Colman Getty on +44 (0) 207 631 2666

Email: [email protected] mobile: +44 (0) 7782 246 184

Sydney: Truda Spruyt at Colman Getty on + 44 (0) 7740 725 206

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Philip Roth - Select Bibliography

Goodbye, Columbus 1959

Letting Go 1962

Portnoy's Complaint 1969

The Breast 1972

The Great American Novel 1973

The Professor of Desire 1977

The Ghost Writer 1979

Zuckerman Unbound 1981

The Counterlife 1987

Patrimony: A True Story 1991

Operation Shylock: A Confession 1993

American Pastoral 1997

I Married a Communist 1998

The Human Stain 2000

Indignation 2008

The Humbling 2009

Nemesis 2010

Publisher contact in the UK:

Chloe Johnson-Hill, Jonathan Cape, Random House Tel: + 44 (0) 207 840 8400

The Judges

Dr Rick Gekoski (Chair)

Dr Rick Gekoski is one of the world's leading bookmen: a writer, rare-book dealer, broadcaster and academic. An American who came to England in 1966, and now a dual UK/US citizen, he has established two private presses, The Sixth Chamber Press and The Bridgewater Press, which issue finely printed editions of leading writers, novelists and poets. As a broadcaster he has written and delivered three series of Rare Books, Rare People for BBC Radio 4, which he followed with two series of Lost, Stolen, or Shredded: The History of Some Missing Works of Art. Dr Gekoski teaches creative non-fiction for the Arvon Foundation, and sits on their Development Board. He was a Man Booker Prize judge in 2005. Dr Gekoski is the author of three books which trace his major enthusiasms, Staying Up, Tolkien's Gown and Outside of a Dog, as well as a critical study of Joseph Conrad and the Bibliography of William Golding.

Carmen Callil

Carmen Callil is a publisher, writer and critic. She was born in Melbourne, Australia, in 1938. In 1972 Ms Callil founded the publishing company, Virago, to publish books which celebrated women and women's lives, literature and history. In 1982 she was appointed managing director of Chatto & Windus and The Hogarth Press where she remained until 1994, continuing, also, as chairman of Virago Press until 1995. In 1994 she was editor-at-large for Random House worldwide. Ms Callil was on the board of Channel 4 Television from 1985-1991. She served as a member of the management committee of the Booker Prize, 1979-1984; she was a founder director of The Groucho Club, London, 1984-1994; and in 1989 received the Distinguished Service Award from the International Women's Writing Guild.

Justin Cartwright

Justin Cartwright was born in 1945 in South Africa. He worked in advertising as a copywriter and progressed to making documentary films on a number of subjects, including the Dead Sea Scrolls and lions hunting at night in Africa. He has written 12 novels, among them In Every Face I Meet, which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 1995, and Leading the Cheers, which won the Whitbread Novel Award in 1998. Five of his novels have been shortlisted for the Whitbread Novel Award. The Promise of Happiness won the Hawthornden Prize in 2005 and The Sunday Times of South Africa's Literary Prize. The Song Before It Is Sung, published in 2007, won the inaugural Jewish Cultural Award. His latest novel, Other People's Money was published in March 2011. Mr Cartwright is a critic and a frequent contributor to BBC Radio 4's Front Row and other cultural programmes. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

Notes to Editors

• The winner is chosen solely at the discretion of the judging panel; there are no submissions from publishers. An author can only win the award once. In addition, there is a separate award for translation and, if applicable and in accordance with the rules of the separate prize for translation, the winner may choose a translator of his or her work into English to receive a prize of £15,000.

• The thirteen authors on the Man Booker International Prize 2011 Judge's list of finalists were:

- Juan Goytisolo (Spain)

- James Kelman (UK)

- John le Carré* (UK)

- Amin Maalouf (Lebanon)

- David Malouf (Australia)

- Dacia Maraini (Italy)

- Rohinton Mistry (India/Canada)

- Philip Pullman (UK)

- Marilynne Robinson (USA)

- Philip Roth (USA)

- Su Tong (China)

- Anne Tyler (USA)

- Wang Anyi (China)

* John le Carré subsequently asked for his name to be withdrawn from consideration

• The Administrators of the Man Booker International Prize are Fiammetta Rocco, literary editor of The Economist and Ion Trewin, also Literary Director of the Booker Foundation.

• Colman Getty handles PR and event management for the prize and provides administrative back-up. Photographs of the judges and Philip Roth are available from Colman Getty.

• The Man Booker International Prize website includes detailed information about all aspects of the prize and runs regular news bulletins:

• 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, Booker Foundation); Richard Cable, publisher; Mark Chilton, Company Secretary, Booker Ltd; Peter Clarke, Chief Executive, 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, 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. Man is 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. Following the acquisition of GLG Partners, Man manages about $69bn.

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 £4.5 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.

Man supports many awards, charities and initiatives around the world, including sponsorship of the Man Booker literary prizes. In the year to March 2010 the Man Charitable Trust continued to fund innovative projects for children and adults that improve literacy. Donations were made to support the "Every Child a Reader" reading recovery programme, Dyslexia Action, The Mayor's Fund for London and National Literacy Trust. The Trust also supports the RNIB Talking Books Service, enabling the production and distribution of Talking Book formats of the shortlisted titles of the Man Booker Prize

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.

• The Sydney Writers' Festival is Australia's largest annual celebration of literature and ideas. Each year, it attracts attendances of around 80,000 to venues that stretch from the Festival hub at Walsh Bay to the Blue Mountains. Sydney comes alive with discussion and debate prompted by this week-long festival of literature and ideas. The programme will be launched on 31 March and Festival dates are 16-22 May 2011.