As you may know, the Man Booker Prize was awarded to New Zealander, Eleanor Catton, for her second novel, The Luminairies. This was the last year that the prize is open only to British, Irish or Commonwealth citizens. Beginning next year, novels published in English and released in Great Britain will be eligible.
Adam Frost and James Kynvin of the Guardian, complied these charts which are based on more than 40 years of data. They show what it has taken to win this prestigious prize.
1. Male writers have a 2:1 advantage over women.
2. It’s best to be British: 27 of 45 winners were British, although chances of a non-British person winning have tripled in the last 20 years.
3. Almost two-thirds of the winners were privately educated.
4. Almost one-third of the winners attended either Oxford or Cambridge.
5. One must remember that the judges tend to be white, British, privately educated at either Oxford of Cambridge, and that prior judges have won the prize.
6. The average age of the winner was 49, and the age range is 28 (this year) to 69.
7. There is quite a range of which book, in an author’s portfolio, won the prize, but for seven authors it was their fourth novel.
8. More winning novels are set in the past than in the present.
9. Different authors have different words they favour.
10. Sales will increase very dramatically! Even being short listed makes a difference, and it’s good for the author’s backlist, as well.