Business Standard

Booker Prize finds new sponsor in Silicon Valley billionaire


Press Trust of India London
The Booker Prize Thursday found a new financial backer in venture capitalist and author Michael Moritz, a month after its previous sponsor the Man Group ended its 18-year association with the Britain's most prestigious literary prize.
The annual award for novels, which has been known as the Man Booker since 2002, will be paid for the next five years by Crankstart, the charity run by 64-year-old Moritz and his wife Harriet Heyman.
Founded in 1969, the 50,000-pound Booker Prize was originally open to writers from Britain, Ireland and the Commonwealth. The US authors became eligible in 2014.
Welsh-born Moritz, who is based in San Francisco, is worth USD 3.4 billlionaire, according to Forbes magazine. He will also support The International Booker Prize for translated works.
"Neither of us can imagine a day where we don't spend time reading a book. The Booker Prizes are ways of spreading the word about the insights, discoveries, pleasures and joy that spring from great fiction," Moritz said.
"Just like The Booker, I was born in Britain and before coming to America was reared on English literature. Harriet and I feel fortunate to be able to support prizes that together celebrate the best fiction in the world," he was quoted as saying by the BBC.
The prestigious prize will not bear Crankstart's name. The charity will revert to its old name of the Booker prize from June 1, when the Man Group's sponsorship ends.
The couple founded Crankstart in 2000 to support and organise scholarship funds for university students from low-income families.
Previously, Moritz worked as a journalist for Time magazine, writing a biography of Steve Jobs and Apple before turning to technology investment. He went on to join Silicon Valley venture capital firm Sequoia Capital, investing in companies including Google, LinkedIn and PayPal.
His recent work as an author includes co-authoring Leading with former Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson.
The Man Group, a hedge fund, had sponsored the award since 2002, but announced its withdrawal in late January last after 18 years.
Northern Irish writer Anna Burns won the 2018 prize for her novel "Milkman.
Crankstart has committed to funding the Booker Prize for English-language novels and the International Booker Prize for translated works for at least five years.

Disclaimer: No Business Standard Journalist was involved in creation of this content

Don't miss the most important news and views of the day. Get them on our Telegram channel

First Published: Feb 28 2019 | 7:16 PM IST

Explore News