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Man gets bookish

Ned Kelly: from
bushranger to prize winner

It has long been the preserve of the literati and the chattering classes who might normally look to raise art high above wealth in importance.

Now, though, the Booker Prize is to associate itself with that most exclusive of financial worlds - hedge funds.

The UK's leading award for contemporary fiction, currently held by Peter Carey for his novel True history of the Kelly Gang based on the life of Australian outlaw Ned Kelly, is to become the Man Booker Prize for Fiction.

Hedge fund group Man is to sponsor the prize to the tune of £2.5 million over the next five years.

The Booker has been known to court controversy on occasion. Salman Rushdie, a winner in 1981 with Midnight's Children, was forced into hiding after The Satanic Verses, shortlisted in 1988, provoked a death sentence from Muslim extremists.

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