The Booker Prize and the Booker Prize Foundation

 Pile of books in a library

RNIB is very proud to work with the Booker Prize Foundation to ensure shortlisted titles in the Booker Prize are available in accessible formats for everyone to enjoy.

What is the Booker Prize?

The Booker Prize was established in 1969 as a literary prize awarded annually for the best original novel written in English and published in the UK. In 2005, The Booker International Prize was created to award writers bi-annually in recognition of a body of work rather than one title.

Former winners of the prize include many of the literary giants of the last five decades, from Iris Murdoch and Salman Rushdie to Ian McEwan and Hilary Mantel.

The 2021 winner

This year's Booker Prize winner is The Promise, the latest novel by South African playwright and novelist Damon Galgut. It tells a story set in South Africa during the country’s transition out of apartheid and explores the interconnected relationships between the members of a diminishing white family through the sequential lens of four funerals.

To find out more about how to access the winning title in braille or Talking Books, please see the Booker Prize shortlist.

Booker Special episodes of Read On

As usual Read On has been on hand to interview all six of this year’s shortlisted authors and you can hear these in-depth conversations linked below.

In the first episode Maggie Shipstead considers the significant role played by women in the early history of aviation in her barnstorming novel Great Circle, Damon Galgut takes a wry look at life, death and the broken promise of -post-Apartheid South Africa and Nadifa Mohamed transports us back to 1950s Cardiff to re-examine a notorious miscarriage of justice. In the second episode Richard Powers reveals how a 60s sci-fi classic inspired him to create his latest novel, Bewilderment, Patricia Lockwood reveals her close links to sight loss, as we discuss her razor sharp novel, No One is Talking About This and we take A Passage North through war-ravaged Sri Lanka with author Anuk Arudpragasam.

 

Our involvement in the Booker Prize

RNIB has worked with the Booker Prize Foundation for over a decade to ensure that some of the year’s best novels are made available to blind and partially sighted people. Book titles are not always automatically produced in alternative reading formats such as audio or braille, which means people with sight loss often have to wait longer to get hold of the latest and most popular books.

We work with the Booker Prize Foundation to make sure the shortlisted titles in the Booker Prize are produced in all formats as close to the shortlist announcement as possible. The Booker Prize Foundation funds the production of the shortlisted titles in braille and audio (Talking Books), making the titles available to over 50,000 members of RNIB Library.