John le Carre was nominated Wednesday for the Man Booker prize recognizing an author's lifetime contribution to fiction, but the British writer immediately asked to be taken off the shortlist because he said he doesn't compete for literary awards.
Le Carre, the author of more than 20 books that helped define the spy genre in fiction and film, including "The Spy Who Came in from the Cold" and "The Constant Gardener," was among 13 writers named as finalists for the Man Booker International prize.
The 60,000 British-pound ($96,000) prize is awarded every two years to a living writer for overall contribution to fiction. It is connected to, but separate from, the better-known Man Booker Prize for Fiction, which is awarded each year for a specific book.
A three-judge panel chooses writers to be considered for the award, then selects a shortlist and finally a winner.
"I am enormously flattered to be named as a finalist of the 2011 Man Booker International Prize," le Carre said in a statement issued through his publishers. "However, I do not compete for literary prizes and have therefore asked for my name to be withdrawn."
Rick Gekoski, the chairman of the judging panel, respectfully declined the request.
"John le Carre's name will, of course, remain on the list. We are disappointed that he wants to withdraw from further consideration because we are great admirers of his work," Gekoski said.
Other finalists include American Phillip Roth, Australia's David Malouf and Indian-born Canadian writer Rohinton Mistry. Two Chinese authors, Wang Anyi and Su Tong, are also on the list.
Previous winners include Alice Munro, Chinua Achebe and Ismail Kadare.
The 2011 winner will be announced May 18 in Sydney.
The prize is sponsored by Man Group PLC, which also funds the annual fiction prize.