The Colour of the Prize

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Three of the six nominees for this year’s Man Booker Prize are women of colour. Does this fact have significance? If so, what is it?

by Rudy Katoch

Within the infographic below, I’ve compiled the data of all nominations from Tuesday’s shortlist to 1969. I recognise each nomination as a unique case irrespective of the fact an author can be nominated more than once. Moreover, I have used 2011 Census classifications of ethnicity; although, like Adam Frost and Jim Kynvin’s representations of Man Booker Prize statistics for the Guardian, I acknowledge that ethnicity is customarily seen as self-defined.


NoViolet Bulawayo, Jhumpa Lahiri and Ruth Ozeki’s inclusion within this year’s shortlist contributes to only fourteen nominations of non-white female authors for the Prize since its inception. It’s the only year where three of the six nominees are non-white and female. (In 1991, three non-white male authors were nominated.) Moreover…

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