And the Prize Goes to…

“As Hugh Eakin has suggested, the Booker, despite the development its ‘multicultural consciousness,’ has arguably done less to further the development of non-Western and /or post-colonial literatures than it has to ‘encourage the commerce of an “exotic” commodity catered to the Western literary market'” (414).

As a response to this Sarah Chruchwell’s comments on the process of awarding the Booker prize and states, “If out of those 156 books, publishers only submit a fraction of women, then that is a function of systemic institutional sexism in our culture. The same point goes for racial diversity: either we six people, all of whom work on behalf of literacy and education, are sexist, racist troglodytes, or we live in a racist, sexist world and the publishing culture reflects that.”

There are many things at stake found in both comments. Besides the obvious (the writer’s life and possible outcomes from winning such a prestigious award), the community of those who read (the “public”), and future winners of this prize are all influenced by past choices and decisions made. The decision to include or exclude is an important one both authors make, but Churchwell notes that its a failure of the system and note hers. This seems to be a careless notion as publishers send specific copies that they deem worthy because they resemble past works that have been “critically acclaimed”. The argument goes full circle, and rather than changing the process she would rather claim its not her fault.  Eakin will then have it right because its not a development at all, but rather another similar book sold based on an old framework.