2016年度布克文学奖的6部候选作品

The six Booker finalists were drawn from an earlier longlist, and the winner will be announced on Oct. 25. In 2014, the prize, which had previously been limited to writers from Britain, Ireland, the Commonwealth and Zimbabwe, changed its rules to include submissions from any author whose work was published in Britain and was first written in English. This year’s six finalists:
nominees-for-manbooker201601“The Sellout” by Paul Beatty
Beatty’s bold satire about race in America was one of the Book Review’s 10 Best Books of 2015. In the Book Review, Kevin Young wrote about the novel in the context of the history of black satire. He said Beatty takes “delight in tearing down the sacred, not so much airing dirty laundry as soiling it in front of you.” Dwight Garner wrote that the first third of the book “reads like the most concussive monologues and interviews of Chris Rock, Richard Pryor and Dave Chappelle wrapped in a satirical yet surprisingly delicate literary and historical sensibility.”
“Hot Milk” by Deborah Levy
Levy’s novel is about a young woman named Sofia who has traveled to Spain with her mother, Rose, in search of a cure for Rose’s possibly psychosomatic ailments. In The Times, Sarah Lyall called the book “gorgeous,” and wrote: “It’s a pleasure to be inside Sofia’s insightful, questioning mind.” In the Book Review, Leah Hager Cohen expressed mixed feelings: “As a series of images, the book exerts a seductive, arcane power, rather like a deck of tarot cards, every page seething with lavish, cryptic innuendo. Yet, as a narrative it is wanting.”
“His Bloody Project” by Graeme Macrae Burnet
Burnet’s novel about a triple murder in 19th-century Scotland will be published in the U.S. on Oct. 18. It starts with a confession, so it’s not a whodunit but a whydunit. “My primary interest is in the psychology of the character,” Burnet recently told The Wall Street Journal, “rather than the mystery of what’s happened.”
nominees-for-manbooker201602“Eileen” by Ottessa Moshfegh
One of the most widely praised debuts by an American writer this year, Moshfegh’s novel is about a young woman working at a juvenile detention center in New England in the 1960s. On the cover of the Book Review, Lily King praised Moshfegh’s sentences as “playful, shocking, wise, morbid, witty, searingly sharp,” and said that as a character Eileen is “as vivid and human as they come.”
“All That Man Is” by David Szalay
Szalay’s novel is composed of nine narratives with different male protagonists. In the Book Review, Garth Greenwell praised the novel, while questioning its label: “The publisher calls ‘All That Man Is’ a novel, but there’s very little explicitly interlinking its separate narratives. The stories cohere instead through their single project: an investigation of European manhood.”
“Do Not Say We Have Nothing” by Madeleine Thien
Thien’s latest novel, which will be published in the U.S. on Oct. 11, traces the effects of Mao’s Cultural Revolution, from Mao’s rise to the Tiananmen Square protests. It follows three musician friends through the country’s changes.

最年轻的布克奖得主埃莉诺•卡顿及其小说《发光体》

【这是我安排研究生陈妍颖同学写的一篇文章,介绍了本年度最年轻的布克奖得主埃莉诺·卡顿及其获奖作品《发光体》。文章已经在《文艺报》上发表。现转载于此,与大家分享。】

Eleanor Catton

10月15日,2013年度英国布克奖获奖名单新鲜出炉。新西兰小说家埃莉诺·卡顿,凭借其长篇小说《发光体》摘得桂冠。

作为第二个获得此项殊荣的新西兰作家,埃莉诺·卡顿创造了布克奖的两大历史之最—— 年仅28岁的她不仅是史上最年轻的布克奖得主,同时,其长达832页的获奖小说,也成为布克奖史上最长的一部获奖作品。

布克奖评审主席称:“这是一部耀眼、发光的作品,浩瀚却不涣散……我们反复读了三遍,对其进行了深度的挖掘,每一次阅读都会有非凡的收获” 。新西兰总理赞誉到:“这是新西兰人在世界舞台上的一个重大的成就……它证明了埃莉诺·卡顿突出的才能和勤奋。”

埃莉诺·卡顿1985年出生于加拿大,6岁时随家人回到新西兰。曾在坎特伯雷大学学习英语,并在惠灵顿的维多利亚大学现代文学研究所获得硕士学位。2009年,她获颁“年度小说黄金女孩”的称号。目前,卡顿居住在新西兰的奥克兰,并在马努卡理工学院教授创意写作课程。

卡顿的处女作《彩排》,在2008年出版之后便备受好评。此次获奖小说《发光体》是其第二部作品。卡顿于25岁时便开始创作该小说,并于27岁时完成。小说《发光体》能从此次参赛的151部小说作品之中脱颖而出,受到评委的青睐,主要有两方面的原因:一是其小说的结构和技巧,二是其小说的情节和内容。

在结构上,《发光体》最显著的特征便是其与占星术的联系。卡顿将这800多页的史诗巨著按照占星术的原则而安排。其中的人物不仅和十二宫图以及日月(也就是小说题目所指的发光体)相联系,并且按照预定的天体运行轨道彼此互动。

卡顿的这一创意来源于她对星座的兴趣。当她最初打算写一本关于新西兰淘金热的书时,她正好开始接触到星座。当她开始着手写该小说时,卡顿惊喜地发现三颗行星在射手座重合。通过一年的观察,她发现一些星球一直都跟随着彼此。于是她便萌发了把这样现象与小说相结合的想法。因此,卡顿使用了《天文和望远镜》杂志中的图表以及一个叫做虚拟天文馆的软件来安排各种星体的运行。小说中有12个与12星座相对应的“恒星”角色:一个毛利宝石猎人、一个银行家、一个新闻记者、一个旅店老板、一个金矿大亨、一个中国金匠、一个代销商、一个药剂家,一个船务代理商、一个法院职员、一个吸鸦片的淘金工人以及一个牧师。他们是这个故事里固定的恒星星座(每个人的星象图都决定着他的行动以及其作用)。在他们的外围,围绕着其轨道运行的是7个“行星”人物:一个寡妇和一个商贩、一个政客和一个监狱长、一个探矿者和一个妓女,最后还有作为阐释者的侦探穆迪。而这12个恒星角色和7个行星角色都围绕着小说中的“地球”角色:克罗斯比·威尔斯运行。小说中的一系列神秘事件也围绕着这个被谋杀的角色而展开。同时,小说的12部分,每一部分的篇幅均为前一部分的一半,正如月亮由圆到缺的变化过程。

这样的结构安排似乎有些复杂而矫揉造作,但事实上它是与小说主题是紧密联系的。该小说的悖论就在于:人物既定的命运和对自己命运的主宰之间的关系。同时,通过这样的结构安排,卡顿对于什么是小说,小说可以有怎么样的形式进行了探索。如果一个故事的情节已被预先设定,这会改变我们的阅读它方式吗?小说能给人们带来怎样的精神慰藉?小说的意义是存在于个体人物还是结构?​

从情节上来说,《发光体》是一部用传统的维多利亚式的悬疑小说。卡顿融合了威尔基·柯林斯和赫尔曼·麦尔维尔的风格,同时也有所创新。“当你最开始读的时候,你会觉得它像是一个慵懒的怪物,但是随后情节发展逐渐加快,扣人心弦。”评委们认为《发光体》是一部具有灵魂的小说,是一个关于爱,欲望,贪婪和谋杀的故事。小说中美、希望和爱最终战胜了贪婪与丑恶。即使读者完全不懂星相学,他们仍然可以享受这个故事。

小说以19世纪中叶新西兰南部岛屿西海岸的淘金热为背景,讲述了通奸、盗窃、阴谋、非法交易、敲诈以及谋杀等一系列悬而未决的犯罪案件:在1866年1月27日的晚上,刚刚到达新西兰霍基蒂卡淘金城的穆迪闯进了一个酒店的吸烟室。有12个男人正在那儿讨论一系列神秘事件:一个探矿者消失了,一个隐居者死亡了,一个妓女惨遭毒打。所有这些人都彼此相互联系,并与这些事件脱不了干系。小说的第一部分,用将近400页的篇幅回忆了12个人在这一天的经历,错综复杂的事件让他们最终在一个夜间会议上相聚。随着各个人物逐一诉说自己的故事,在新西兰南部岛屿上的霍基蒂卡小镇上所发生的一切也随之明了……

评委会主席罗伯特·麦克法兰认为《发光体》是一部宏伟的巨著。小说“复杂的结构让人惊叹,故事情节引人入胜,对那个充满黄金和贪婪的世界进行了充满富有想象力的描述。”他希望读者们不要因为其篇幅长度而望而却步,因为《发光体》就像是一个金矿,它给予读者的回报是丰厚的。相信每个读者都能从小说纷繁的人物中找到自己熟悉的影子。【作者:陈妍颖】

希拉里·曼特尔的三部曲之二《提堂》再获曼布克小说奖

希拉里·曼特尔(Hilary Mantel)的都铎三部曲完成了两部。两部都获得了曼布克小说奖(Man Booker Prize)的殊荣。这确实是曼特尔巨大的成就和荣誉。她是第一位也是迄今为止唯一的一位连续两部作品获得布克奖,也是第三位两次获得该项殊荣的作家。(6:06PM EDT October 16. 2012 – The first to win for a sequel and the only the third writer to win twice: Both apply to British novelist Hilary Mantel, who has won the prestigious 2012 Man Booker Prize for Bring Up the Bodies)都铎三部曲的第一部《狼厅》(Wolf Hall)于2009年获得布克奖;第二部《提堂》(Bring up the Bodies)再度折桂;第三部暂定书名《镜和灯》(The Mirror and Light)也将出版。

下面奉上一篇述评文章。这是在布克奖短名单出来之后,我让我的学生,2011级研究生王飞同学写的(我今天稍稍作了调整)。藉此,大家可以了解更多一些相关信息:

曼特尔出手不凡,《提堂》再获布克奖殊荣

曾经凭借小说《狼厅》(Wolf Hall) 荣获2009年布克奖的英国女作家希拉里·曼特尔(Hilary Mantel)凭借新作《提堂》(Bring up the Bodies)再获殊荣。这么短的时间内两次荣获布克奖,这位作家的魅力不可小觑。但对于大多数中国读者,希拉里·曼特尔还是一个略显陌生的名字。

1952年出生的希拉里·曼特尔曾在伦敦经济学院和谢菲尔德大学攻读法律学位,1973年从谢菲尔德大学毕业。曼特尔的写作主要涉及名人传记和历史小说等形式,她1985年发表了处女作《每天都是母亲节》(Every Day is Mother’s Day》,从此开启了她的文学创作生涯。她1992年发表的作品《更安全的地方》(A Place of Greater Safety)重现了法国大革命的宏伟场面,获得了周日快报年度小说奖 (Sunday Express Book of the Year)。她2005年的作品《黑暗深处》(Beyond Black)入围2006年英联邦作家奖,并获得2006年橘子奖(the Orange Prize)的提名。直至2009年《狼厅》发表并荣获布克奖——当今英国乃至全世界最重要的文学奖项之一,曼特尔才真正开始进入文坛的聚光灯之下,受到不少海内外评论家及读者的关注。

曼特尔以历史题材创作的《狼厅》一经出版便好评如潮,目前全世界已有30多个国家和地区引进了这部小说的版权,其总销售量也高达20多万册,2012年,《观察家报》将其誉为“十大最佳历史小说”之一,这部小说的成功也为曼特尔本人带来了广泛的知名度和影响力。2010年上海译文出版社也在中国发行了这部小说的中文简体版。《狼厅》选取了英国历史上著名的都铎王朝时期为故事背景,亨利八世(Henry Ⅷ)是英格兰亨利七世的次子,都铎王朝的第二位国王。亨利七世在位时,为了加强同邻邦的友好合作,让自己的长子亚瑟迎娶了西班牙阿拉贡的凯瑟琳公主为妻。后来亚瑟不幸逝世,亨利七世为了团结西班牙共同对抗法国,竭力留住了凯瑟琳公主,并将其嫁给了当时年仅12岁的次子亨利八世。当时的英格兰,国王假若没有男性继承人,就会很快陷入权力争夺和战争之中,而凯瑟琳皇后仅仅为亨利八世生出了玛丽公主(即后来的玛丽一世)一个女儿,往后几次的生育都以流产告终。而亨利八世和女侍官安妮·傅林发生了一场婚外情,并想要解除和凯瑟琳的婚姻,迎娶安妮·傅林。但在当时天主教管制下的英国,离婚被视为是不道德的行为,因此亨利八世的离婚请求遭到教皇强烈拒绝。在这样的一个历史背景下,《狼厅》拉开了序幕。 Continue reading

凭借《狼厅》荣获2009年度布克奖的希拉里·曼托尔再度入围2012年度布克奖短名单·短名单及简介

凭借《狼厅》荣获2009年度布克奖的希拉里·曼托尔再度入围2012年度布克奖短名单

Man Booker Prize: Hilary Mantel makes shortlist

Mantel’s Bring Up the Bodies, a fictional account of Thomas Cromwell’s life, is one of six titles in contention, as is Will Self‘s Umbrella.

Tan Twan Eng and Deborah Levy have also made the shortlist, as have first-time novelists Alison Moore and Jeet Thayi.

2012曼布克奖短名单:

The winner will be announced on 16 October

Man Booker Prize – 2012 shortlist

  • Tan Twan Eng – The Garden of Evening Mists
  • Deborah Levy – Swimming Home
  • Hilary Mantel – Bring Up the Bodies
  • Alison Moore – The Lighthouse
  • Will Self – Umbrella
  • Jeet Thayil – Narcopolis

入围2012布克奖短名单作品简介

THE GARDEN OF EVENING MISTS – TAN TWAN ENG

The Garden of Evening Mists  by Tan Twan Eng

Publisher: Myrmidon Books

About the book: Set in Malaya just after World War II, The Garden of Evening Mists follows young law graduate Yun Ling Teoh, a survivor of a Japanese prison camp, as she seeks solace among the plantations of the Cameron Highlands.

There she discovers Yugiri, the only Japanese garden in Malaya, and its owner and creator, the secretive Aritomo.

Aritomo agrees to accept Yun Ling as his apprentice “until the monsoon”, so that she can design a garden in memorial to her sister who died in the prison camp.

About the author: Tan Twan Eng’s first novel, The Gift of Rain, was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2007. Born in 1972 in Penang, he lived in various places in Malaysia as a child.

He studied law at the University of London and later worked as lawyer in Kuala Lumpur. He has a first-dan ranking in aikido and currently lives in Cape Town.

The judges said: “In some of the most poised, precise prose offered to us this year, it’s the story of a Japanese garden created in honour of a Japanese victim of war and is sternly paced to match its subject.

“One of us likened its beauty to that of slowly clashing icebergs. And we all admired the serenity of the gardener, the former servant of the emperor, who is one of the most memorable characters in all the 30,000 pages or so we read this year.”

SWIMMING HOME – DEBORAH LEVY

Swimming Home by Deborah Levy

Publisher: And Other Stories/Faber & Faber

About the book: Swimming Home explores the harm that depression can have on apparently stable people. The tautly structured story unfolds over a week in a summer villa in the French Riviera.

About the author: Born in 1959, Deborah Levy writes fiction, plays and poetry. Her work has been staged by the Royal Shakespeare Company and her previous novels include Beautiful Mutants, Swallowing Geography and Billy and Girl.

Swimming Home is her first novel in more than 10 years. Traditional publishers turned down the novel and it only made it into print following the help of supporters and friends and through the use of subscription. It was serialised on Radio 4 as a Book at Bedtime.

The judges said: “It seems simple enough: a holiday villa in France, a pool, Bohemian families at play and the young intruder who comes to stay. But this is much more than a story of a snake in the grass.

“Inconvenient truth is etched into Levy’ s idyll in subtle, obliquely outlined ways. Some of them gently literary, others acid and raw. There is a technical artistry, glowing prose, an intimate exposure of loss and a little Gatsby too.”

BRING UP THE BODIES – HILARY MANTEL

Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel

Publisher: Fourth Estate

About the book: Bring Up the Bodies is the second in Mantel’s trilogy on Thomas Cromwell, chief Minister to Henry VIII. Set over a year, the story begins in 1535. Anne Boleyn has failed bear a son to secure the Tudor line, and Henry develops a dangerous attraction to Wolf Hall’s Jane Seymour.

About the author: Mantel, who won the Man Booker in 2009 with Wolf Hall, is the only novelist to have featured on the shortlist of six before. Born in Derbyshire in 1952, she studied Law at the London School of Economics and Sheffield University.

She lived in Botswana for five years and Saudi Arabia for four before returning to Britain in the mid-1980s. Her books include Fludd (1989), A Place of Greater Safety (1992) and Beyond Black (2005). She was awarded a CBE in 2006.

The judges said: “There’s been discussion about the pros and cons of Mantel advancing in the prize again so soon.

“The judges this year noted her even greater mastery of method now, her powerful realism in the separation of past and present and the vivid depiction of English character and landscape.”

THE LIGHTHOUSE – ALISON MOORE

The Lighthouse by Alison Moore

Publisher: Salt Publishing

About the book: Futh, a middle-aged man whose marriage has collapsed, takes a North Sea ferry to Germany for a week’s walking holiday.

But he is haunted by his mother’s abandonment of him as a boy and his first trip to Germany with his newly single father.

About the author: Alison Moore’s short stories have been published in various magazines and anthologies. She has been shortlisted for the Bridport Prize and the Manchester Fiction Prize, and for the Scott Prize for her first collection.

She won first prize in the novella category of The New Writer Prose and Poetry Prizes. Born in Manchester in 1971, she lives near Nottingham with her husband and son.

The judges said: “A bleak inner landscape, written with a temperature control set very low and an acute sense of smell.”

UMBRELLA – WILL SELF

Umbrella by Will Self

Publisher: Bloomsbury

About the book: Umbrella is a non-linear, stream of consciousness novel that spans an entire century. The novel comprises some 400 pages with no chapter divisions and almost without paragraph breaks.

The story follows a misdiagnosed woman in a north London mental hospital, her family and her doctor. The woman, Audrey Death, is a feminist who falls victim to the “sleeping sickness” – encephalitis lethargica – epidemic that rages across Europe after World War I.

The doctor, Zack Busner, spends a summer waking the post-encephalitic patients under his care using a new and powerful drug.

About the author: This is novelist and journalist Will Self’s first brush with the Booker. Born in 1961, he is the author of many novels and books of non-fiction.

They include How the Dead Live, which was shortlisted for the Whitbread Novel of the Year in 2002, and The Butt, winner of the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for Comic Fiction 2008. He lives in South London.

The judges said: “This novel is both moving and draining. The judges placed Umbrella on the shortlist with the conviction that those who stick with it will find it much less difficult than it first seems.”

NARCOPOLIS – JEET THAYIL

Narcopolis by Jeet Thayil

Publisher: Faber & Faber

About the book: Jeet Thayil’s first novel Narcopolis is set around a Bombay opium den in the 1970s and ’80s, with a cast of pimps, pushers, poets, gangsters and eunuchs.

Critics have likened Narcopolis to William Burroughs’s Junky and Thomas de Quincey’s Confessions of an English Opium-Eater.

About the author: Poet, songwriter and guitarist, Jeet Thayil was born in Kerala, India in 1959 and educated in Hong Kong, New York and Bombay.

He has published four collections of poetry and is the editor of The Bloodaxe Book of Contemporary Indian Poets (2008). He lives in New Delhi.

The judges said: “Bombay is the first and last word of this first novel, an urban history written by a former drug addict through the changing composition of opiates and the changing characters of their users.

“Poetry is not often a stepping stone to the novel, but we very much admired his perfumed prose from the drug dens and back streets of India’s most concentrated conurbation.”

朱利安·巴恩斯终获布克奖

说朱利安·巴恩斯(Julian Barnes, 1946- )终获本年度曼布克小说奖(Man Booker Prize),是因为此前巴恩斯已经三度进入布克奖评选的短名单。这是他的第四次。这一次终于他如愿以偿了。这次帮助巴恩斯获得该项殊荣的是他的小说《终结感》(The Sense of an Ending)。

  • 巴恩斯已经创作发表了11部小说和大量短篇小说以及其他文章。
  • 1946年出生于莱切斯特,在伦敦城市学习接受教育。
  • 他在牛津大学研究现代语言,1968年毕业。
  • 做过New Statesman的文字编辑;也为“观察家”频道做过电视评论员。
  • 他获得过法国的 Prix Medicis (for Flaubert’s Parrot) 奖和 Prix Femina (for Talking It Over)奖。他是唯一一位获得过这两项奖励的作家

【以下是来自BBC NEWS的报道】

Man Booker Prize won by Julian Barnes on fourth attempt

Julian Barnes has won the Man Booker Prize for his novel The Sense of an Ending, having been shortlisted on three previous occasions.

Barnes – the bookmakers’ favourite – said he was “as much relieved as I am delighted” to win the £50,000 prize.

The judges had been criticised for putting a focus on “readability” in their choice of shortlisted novels.

Chairwoman, ex-MI5 boss Dame Stella Rimington, said the publishing world was like the “KGB at its height”.

Of Barnes’s novel, Dame Stella said “the markings of a classic of English literature”.

She described the novel as “exquisitely written, subtly plotted and reveals new depths with each reading”.

“We thought it was a book that spoke to the humankind in the 21st Century.”

In reference to the row over the literary merit of the books the judges chose, she accused her critics within the publishing world of resembling the Russian security service for their use of “black propaganda, de-stabilisation operations, plots and double agents”.

She said the judges had followed the debate “sometimes with great glee and amusement”.

“We were talking about readability and quality. We were certainly always looking for quality as well,” she said. “That fact it’s been in the headlines is very gratifying.”

And Barnes, in his acceptance speech, said: “I’d like to thank the judges – whom I won’t hear a word against – for their wisdom. And the sponsors for their cheque.”

Thanking the book’s designer, Suzanne Dean, he added: “Those of you who’ve seen my book – whatever you may think of its contents – will probably agree that it is a beautiful object.

“And if the physical book, as we’ve come to call it, is to resist the challenge of the e-book, it has to look like something worth buying and worth keeping.”

The shortest novel of the six finalists, The Sense of an Ending is about childhood friendship and the imperfections of memory.

It is narrated by a middle-aged man, Tony Webster, who reflects on the paths he and his friends have taken as the past catches up with him via a bequeathed diary.

Dame Stella said that although the main character appeared at first to be “rather boring”, he was gradually revealed to be somebody quite different.

The former spy chief added: “One of the things the book does is talk about humankind: none of us really know who we are – we present ourselves in all sorts of ways.”

The other nominees were Carol Birch (Jamrach’s Menagerie); Canadians Patrick deWitt (The Sisters Brothers) and Esi Edugyan (Half Blood Blues); and debut authors Stephen Kelman (Pigeon English) and AD Miller (Snowdrops).

Barnes had been shortlisted for the prize on three previous occasions, but without success.

The London-based author was nominated in 1984 for Flaubert’s Parrot, in 1998 for England, England and in 2005 for Arthur and George.

Dame Stella said the five judges had reached a final, unanimous decision after about half an hour of debate on Tuesday.

“I can tell you there was no blood on the carpet and nobody went off in a huff,” she said.

Her fellow Booker judges were writer and journalist Matthew d’Ancona, author Susan Hill, author and politician Chris Mullin and Gaby Wood of the Daily Telegraph.

Despite the literary row, this year’s shortlist has been the best-selling in Booker history – sales of the shortlisted novels are up 127% on last year.

According to Nielsen BookScan, 98,876 copies were sold in the six weeks after the shortlist was announced.

Snowdrops has sold most, shifting more than 35,000 copies since it was shortlisted. Next is Jamrach’s Menagerie with 19,500 and The Sense of an Ending with 15,000.

Barnes’s book has sold more than 27,500 copies since it was published in early August.

At 150 pages, it is not the shortest book to win the Booker. That record is held by Penelope Fitzgerald’s 132-page Offshore which won in 1979.

Commenting on the winner, Jonathan Ruppin, of Foyles, said: “As a writer characterised by immense intelligence and imagination, it would have been remarkable if Barnes had never won the Booker.

“This is definitely one that splits opinion, with some finding it subtly powerful and others frustratingly underdeveloped, but great writers rarely please everyone.”

Literature Prize(文学奖)

这里的”Literature Prize” 不是一个笼统的说法,而是一个新的独立的文学奖项。并且意欲与久负盛名的Man Booker Prize分庭抗礼。新“文学奖”认为布克奖的评选过分重视了可读性,而忽略了艺术性。另外,“文学奖”的受众面也较之布克奖有很大的拓展:“文学奖”面向所有在英国出版的英语作品。这个奖项计划明年颁出第一期。【以下是来自BBC的相关报道】

New literature prize launched to rival Booker

A group of leading lights from the literary world have launched a book prize in response to what they see as the changing priorities of the Man Booker Prize.

The organisers of the new Literature Prize claimed the Booker “now prioritises a notion of ‘readability’ over artistic achievement”.Man Booker administrator Ion Trewin dismissed that idea as “tosh”.

Booker 2011 judges: (l-r) Susan Hill, Chris Mullin, Dame Stella Rimington, Matthew d'Ancona, and Gaby Wood

The winner of the £50,000 annual Booker prize will be announced on 18 October.

“This is not about attacking the Booker or any books on the shortlist,” literary agent Andrew Kidd, spokesman for the Literature Prize, told the BBC.

“The Booker has made certain choices about how it wants to position itself and that’s great – but we think there’s a place for both of us and there can be a happy co-existence.”

The Literature Prize names among its supporters writers John Banville, Pat Barker, Mark Haddon, Jackie Kay and David Mitchell.

An announcement about the committee and funding for next year’s prize is expected within weeks.

‘Quality and ambition’

The Literature Prize will be open to any novel in the English language and published in the UK. The Booker competition is only open to those from the British Commonwealth and Ireland.

“The prize will offer readers a selection of novels that, in the view of these expert judges, are unsurpassed in their quality and ambition,” said the Literature Prize’s launch statement.

“For many years this brief was fulfilled by the Booker (latterly the Man Booker) Prize. But as numerous statements by that prize’s administrator and this year’s judges illustrate, it now prioritises a notion of ‘readability’ over artistic achievement,” it said.

Dismissing that as “tosh”, Man Booker’s Trewin told The Bookseller: “I think I have gone on record in the past as saying that I believe in literary excellence and readability -the two should go hand in hand.”

Jonathan Taylor, chairman of The Booker Prize Foundation, said: “Since 1969 the prize has encouraged the reading of literary fiction of the highest quality and that continues to be its objective today.

“We welcome any credible prize which also supports the reading of quality fiction.”

The Man Booker winner will be announced on 18 October

Julian Barnes is among six authors featured on this year’s Man Booker Prize shortlist. He is the bookies’ favourite for his novel The Sense of an Ending.

Stephen Kelman, AD Miller, Carol Birch, Patrick deWitt and Esi Edugyan are also on the shortlist.

There were raised eyebrows in literary circles when previous Booker winner Alan Hollinghurst’s The Stranger’s Child did not make the final six.

Last week, chair of the Booker judges and former MI5 chief Dame Stella Rimington hit back at critics of the judges’ choices, which include two first-time novelists.

She told The Guardian: “As somebody interested in literary criticism, it’s pathetic that so-called literary critics are abusing my judges and me. They live in such an insular world they can’t stand their domain being intruded upon.”

Her fellow Booker jurors are writer and journalist Matthew d’Ancona, author Susan Hill, author and politician Chris Mullin and Gaby Wood of the Telegraph.

Kidd denied that the Literature Prize was about elitism.

“It’s a silly accusation,” he said.

“It is more about our feeling that a space has opened up for a new prize which is unequivocally about excellence – even if that sometimes means shortlisted books are more challenging and don’t necessarily fall under the easy description of readable.”