Worth £60,000 to the winner, the prize is awarded every two years to a living author who has published fiction either originally in English or whose work is generally available in translation in the English language.
The winner is chosen solely at the discretion of the judging panel; there are no submissions from publishers. Nigerian writer, Chinua Achebe won the 2007 prize and Albanian writer, Ismail Kadare won the inaugural prize in 2005 and went on to gain worldwide recognition for his work. The 2009 panel of judges will be announced on 19 March 2008. In addition, there is a separate prize for translation and, if applicable, the winner can choose a translator of his or her work into English to receive a prize of £15,000.
Ngugi wa Thiongo has made the 2009 Man Booker Shortlist
The Man Booker International Prize echos and reinforces the annual Man Booker Prize for Fiction in that literary excellence will be its sole focus. The Man Booker International Prize is significantly different from the annual Man Booker Prize for Fiction in that it highlights one writer's overall contribution to fiction on the world stage. In seeking out literary excellence the judges consider a writer's body of work rather than a single novel.
Here is the list of other contenders
* Peter Carey (Australia)
* Evan S. Connell (USA)
* Mahasweta Devi (Bangladesh)
* E.L. Doctorow (USA)
* James Kelman (UK)
* Mario Vargas Llosa (Peru)
* Arnošt Lustig (Czechoslovakia)
* Alice Munro (Canada)
* V.S. Naipaul (Trinidad/India)
* Joyce Carol Oates (USA)
* Antonio Tabucchi (Italy)
* Dubravka Ugresic (Croatia)
* Ludmila Ulitskaya (Russia)