Literary types will know the Man Booker prize is a British award given each year since 1968 for outstanding contemporary fiction published by a writer from the Commonwealth or Republic of Ireland.
Much ado is made about the long-list, just announced for 2004, even more about the shortlist, which, more or less indicates what books ought to be read by folks who fancy themselves being literately trendy.
I've recently read several insider accounts by judges, usually writers themselves, of the rigors of reading so many books, many of which, so the story goes, are unworthy of even being published let alone widely read.
This new blog has taken up the brief of keeping the world posted about the intrigues behind the scenes of the Booker. An Indian paper, the Business Standard, cited on the new Booker blog has this snarky bit to share:
The Booker is a bit like Elizabeth Taylor: it’s been around forever, it’s lost its mystery over the years, there’s a faint worry that it’s been commercialised and everybody knows the best bits of gossip anyway.