Thursday, February 21, 2008

The Best of the Booker

Those folks who organise the Man Booker Prize for Fiction have just announced a one-off award to celebrate the prize's 40th anniversary :
The Best of the Booker will honour the best overall novel to have won the prize since it was first awarded on 22 April 1969. 41 novels will be eligible for the award as there were two winners in both 1974 and in 1992.

This is the second time that a celebratory award has been created by the prize. In 1993 – the 25th anniversary – Salman Rushdie won the Booker of Bookers with the 1981 winning novel Midnight’s Children ...
And for the first time, the public will be invited to help decide on the winner with an opportunity to vote once the shortlist is announced in May. The winner will be announced at the London Literature Festival at the Southbank Centre in July and whole series of events are planned around the award, including films based on the winning novels at the ICA and an exhibition at the V&A.

Of course, the bookmakers are already in on the act with William Hill having Yann Martel’s Life of Pi as favourite at 4/1, Midnight’s Children at 5/1 and Ondaatje’s English Patient at 7/1; while Ladbrokes has Salman Rushdie 4/1, the Michael Ondaatje 6/1 and in joint third Barry Unsworth’s Sacred Hunger and Margaret Atwood’s The Blind Assassin at 7/1.

(Mind you, she says sour grapesing it even before voting begins, the best novel doesn't usually win each year anyway!)

I found this news via Literary Saloon, and I think you might want to take their advice when looking for the Booker website. You should use the address and not because.

Postscript :

Eric has his shortlist up. I like it very much but I need to also have True History of the Kelly Gang on there.

How many of the 41 books (also listed on his blog) have you read? (My score is 29. I missed a lot of good books in the '80s by living in places where I couldn't easily obtain 'em.)


Anonymous said...

Wouldn't it be fun-ner to choose a prize winner among the shortlisted books that didn't win from ... oh, say ... 1969 - 1979?

That would fatten up my reading list nicely :D


bibliobibuli said...

yes! if no-one else organises it, maybe we could do it here!

Anonymous said...

Heh I don't know where you guys find the time, but yea why not ? :)

PS. Both sites are about the same thing in a way. Think about it, how many men are nominated, and how many women ? :)