Entertainment & Arts

Irish novels can now compete for the Man Booker Prize

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Irish publishers will be able to submit novels for the Man Booker Prize from this year.

The decision has been taken as a result of the "special relationship between the UK and Irish publishing markets," the Man Booker Foundation said.

It added the aim of the new rule is to ensure independent Irish publishers are able to be nominated.

Until now, only Irish publishers who have headquarters in the UK were eligible to submit titles.

Gaby Wood, Literary Director of the Booker Prize Foundation said: "We're delighted to support Irish publishers and the writers whose work they bring into the world.

"So much exciting new fiction is being written and published concurrently in Ireland and the UK that we felt it was only right to acknowledge and honour that."

In 2013, the rules were changed to allow international authors to be nominated for the Man Booker Prize - as opposed to just Commonwealth nations.

Paul Beatty went on to become the first international winner in 2016, with his novel The Sellout.

However, in the same year, Mike McCormack's novel Solar Bones was deemed ineligible because it had been published by the Dublin-based Tramp Press.

It was only long-listed for the prize the following year after it was published by Canongate in Scotland - an anomaly that may have resulted in the rule change announced on Monday.

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