The Booker Prize World Cup 2022

4 December 2022

If football/soccer isn’t your thing, but you love the thrill of elimination contests involving novels, you could always take a look at the Booker Prize World Cup:

We’ve selected, entirely arbitrarily, 16 winning books from the Booker Prize’s 53-year history, with each author representing a different footballing nation. In each case, the author is playing for their country of birth (which is more than you can say for the Qatar football team), and not necessarily the country with which they are best associated or where they live. We have drawn books against one another at random and in each ‘match’ — which will be posted on our Instagram and Twitter channels each day — we would like you to vote for the best book via a poll. The winning book will then progress to the next round. After the first round, there’ll be a quarter-final, semi-final and grand final.

The provision of each author playing for their country of birth is important, given South African born writer J.M. Coetzee, for example, has been an Australian citizen since 2006. Otherwise Peter Carey, with his 1988 novel Oscar and Lucinda, was Australia’s opening round representative.

While it could have been argued Australia was in with two chances, unfortunately as of the quarter final phase of the Booker Prize World Cup, both Carey and Coetzee had been eliminated. Such is life. Still, I’m waiting to see who wins. To take part, and support your favourite book, cast your vote via the Booker Prize Twitter or Instagram pages.


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