Nury Vittachi, chairman of the Asia Pacific Writers and Translators Association said that the Man Booker Prize and Pulitzer Prize are unfavorable for Asian authors. He might have a point because the former is limited to works published in the United Kingdom, while the Pulitzer is only for authors with American passports. This has prompted the creation of the World Readers’ Award.
The award will pay an author $10,000 for a book printed or translated to English. A judging panel, made up of members of the association, will select about 12 books in the next eight weeks and the public will be asked to vote on the shortlisted works. The voting is actually a sham, as the judges basically said their voice has little to no bearing on the definitive selection of the winner.
It will be interesting to see if this award will have longstanding appeal. There are many awards, but seldom do they hold the public’s interest for more than a few weeks.