Salman Rushdie (India/USA), photographed April 26, 2007, New York, New York.
© Beowulf Sheehan/PEN American Center/Opale
Salman Rushdie (India/USA), photographed April 26, 2007, New York, New York. © Beowulf Sheehan/PEN American Center/Opale

London : For Booker Prize winning author Salman Rushdie, the chances of being shortlisted for the prestigious literary award are virtually over as young writers are now being preferred over “established names”.

The Mumbai-born and New York-based author, who won the Booker Prize in 1981 for ‘Midnight’s Children’ and was also awarded the “Booker of Bookers” which marked the 25th anniversary of the award in 1993, said judges seem to favour newer and younger authors.

Rushdie was short-listed a record three times – in 1983 for ‘Shame’, in 1988 for ‘The Satanic Verses’, and in 1995 for ‘The Moor’s Last Sigh’.

‘Shalimar The Clown’ reached the longlist in 2005, and ‘The Enchantress of Florence’ in 2008.

“I have not been on a Booker Prize shortlist for 20 years, so those days are gone,” he told an audience at the annual Cheltenham Literature Festival in south-west England on Saturday.

“If you look at the list this year, other than Anne Tyler there seems to be a desire to move away from established names. No Ishiguro, no Atwood, no Franzen. Certainly Jonathan’s book (‘Purity’) has been astonishingly well-received. If they’re trying to favour new voices, younger writers, then fair enough, why not,” he pointed out.

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