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Sunday 17 December 2017

Publisher 'forced' to sell rights to UK firm

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Meadhbh McGrath

The publisher behind one of the titles longlisted for the Man Booker prize has spoken out against the contest's strict eligibility rules after it was forced to sell the book rights to a British company to enter.

Sarah Davis-Goff and Lisa Coen are the women behind Tramp Press, an independent imprint responsible for publishing Mike McCormack's 'Solar Bones'. It tells the story of Marcus Conway, a middle-aged civil engineer in Louisburgh, Co Mayo.

The novel, written in a single 223-page sentence, was first published in 2016, but was ineligible for the Booker because Tramp Press is not registered in the UK. It agreed to sell the UK rights to Canongate, and stipulated in the contract that it be submitted for prize consideration. The publisher can no longer sell the Tramp Press edition of the novel in Britain.

"The Man Booker may claim that they're representing the best of fiction in English, but what they are doing is interfering in our market here," Ms Coen said.

"We are a publisher who loved this manuscript, who bought it and worked really hard on it and now we have to hand it over in this market that massively affects us."

A spokesperson for the Booker Prize Foundation said there were no plans to review the rule.

The Man Booker shortlist will be announced on Wednesday.

Irish Independent

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