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, the Man Booker International Prize, worth £60,000, is awarded for “continued creativity, development and overall contribution to fiction on the world stage.” The 2011 award is the fourth time this prize has been given. It has previously been awarded to Ismail Kadaré in 2005, Chinua Achebe in 2007, and Alice Munro in 2009.
Rick Gekoski, chair of the judging panel, commented today:
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.In response, Roth issued the following statement on video (below):
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 honor and I'm delighted to receive it.The judging panel for the Man Booker International Prize 2011 consists of writer, academic and rare-book dealer Dr Rick Gekoski; publisher, writer, and critic Carmen Callil (who, in a twist that itself could have come from a Roth novel, resigned from the panel in protest); and award-winning novelist Justin Cartwright. The prize is sponsored by Man Group plc, which also sponsors the annual Man Booker Prize for Fiction.
Related LOA works: Philip Roth: Collected Works 1959–1995