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Booker Prize won't expand eligibility

November 19, 2002|From Associated Press

American writers won't have the chance to win Britain's most prestigious literary award, according to organizers of the Booker Prize.

"We took the decision that the Man Booker Prize should remain as it is because its hallmark is that it honors Commonwealth writers," Martyn Goff, administrator of the prize, said Monday. "That is what the prize has built its reputation on over the last 35 years, and its integrity is valued worldwide."

The suggestion that organizers would expand eligibility beyond writers from Britain, the Commonwealth of its former colonies and Ireland first surfaced last spring, prompting furious chatter about whether British or American fiction writing would prove stronger.

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