Why the Booker prize??

Waxing forth about my Booker Prize reading journey last night, I was stumped by a question from my other half:  “Why is it called the Booker?”  I had to admit I had no idea…and had only a vague idea that the name changed to Man Booker Prize when a new sponsor came along.

So for the record – and to avoid future embarrassment, I started to dig around. It turns out that the title of the prize  originates not (as I had surmised) from the name of some famous literary figure but from the name of the company that first sponsored the prize.

The prize was originally known as the Booker-McConnell Prize, after the wholesalers  Booker-McConnell who became the first sponsors  in 1968. Quite why they thought a literary prize was a good match for their brand is unclear but the name Booker represented the surnames of their founders George and Richard Booker.  Over the years, the prize name became more commonly known simply as  the “Booker Prize” or just “the Booker.”

In  2002, the administration of the prize was transferred to the Booker Prize Foundation and the investment company  Man Group became the sponsors.  They  opted to retain “Booker” as part of the official title of the prize. Today they sponsor three prizes under the generic Booker name: The Man Booker Prize, The Man Booker International Prize and The Man Asian Literary Prize.

About BookerTalk

What do you need to know about me? 1. I'm from Wales which is one of the countries in the UK and must never be confused with England. 2. My life has always revolved around the written and spoken word. I worked as a journalist for nine years then in international corporate communications 3. My tastes in books are eclectic. I love realism and hate science fiction and science fantasy. 4. I am trying to broaden my reading horizons geographically by reading more books in translation

Posted on April 15, 2012, in Book Reviews and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Interesting. I didn’t know that either.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: