Monday, April 4, 2011

John Le Carre: My New Hero

John Le Carre withdrew from consideration for the Man Booker International Prize, which is worth $96,070, or 60,000 pounds, to the winner.

In the AFP article (, Rick Gekoski, the chair of the judging panel, read a statement from Le Carre, which was received 45 minutes before the announcement of the finalists in Sydney, Australia.

It said: "I am enormously flattered to be named as a finalist. However I do not compete for literary prizes and have therefore asked for my name to be withdrawn."

Gekoski says that Le Carre's name will remain on the list, which I think is wrong. If the Man Booker panel truly respected Le Carre, as they claim to, they would accede to his wish.

I agree with Le Carre. I believe reading is, at times, a solo journey, one in which you find the authors you love and hold fast to them, no matter what the "authoritative" voices say.

What affects you, what inspires you, what makes you want to do more in your own life (Barbara Kingsolver did that for me yesterday when I read part of her essay collection, "Small Wonder"), that's what you go with.

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