12 Quite Interesting Facts About The Man Booker Prize

The Man Booker Prize for Fiction is in its 45th year. It was called the Booker Prize from 1969 to 2001. From 2002 the prize became the Man Booker Prize when the Man Group plc came on board as sponsor.

  1. 30 men and 15 women have won the prize.
  2. The Booker Prize initially awarded £5,000 to its winners. The prize money doubled in 1978 to £10,000, and today the winner receives £50,000.
  3. The shortest winning novel in the history of the prize was Offshore by Penelope Fitzgerald, at 132 pages, in 1979. Ian McEwan’s On Chesil Beach and Julian Barnes’ The Sense of an Ending were just slightly longer. In terms of length of eligible books, the rules of the prize simply state that the judges must be of the opinion that a book is a unified and substantial work.
  4. The ‘Man Booker Dozen’ was introduced in 2007 to limit the number of books allowed on the longlist to 12 or 13 each year.
  5. Ben Okri was the youngest winner in 1991 at the age of 32; Aravind Adiga was 33 when he won in 2008. Salman Rushdie was 34 when he won in 1981. Kiran Desai was the youngest woman to win the prize in 2006, aged 35.
  6. The prize has been split between joint winners on two occasions. Nadine Gordimer and Stanley Middleton shared the prize in 1974, whilst Michael Ondaatje and Barry Unsworth were joint winners in 1992
  7. Jonathan Cape is the publisher with the highest number of winning titles, with eight winners: The Sense of An Ending by Julian Barnes in 2011, The Gathering by Anne Enright in 2007, Amsterdam by Ian McEwan in 1998, The Famished Road by Ben Okri in 1991, Hotel du Lac by Anita Brookner in 1984, Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie in 1981, Saville by David Storey in 1976 and The Conservationist by Nadine Gordimer in 1974. Faber & Faber follows with six winning titles.
  8. One of the bestselling Booker winners is Schindler’s Ark by Thomas Keneally, which was adapted into the box office smash Schindler’s List. The film by Steven Spielberg won seven Academy Awards.
  9. Two authors have won the prize with their first and, so far, only novels: Keri Hulme, with The Bone People in 1985 and Arundhati Roy, with The God of Small Things in 1997.
  10. A number of Booker and Man Booker winning novels have been adapted into film. Some of the best-known are Kazuo Ishiguro’s 1989 novel Remains of the Day and Michael Ondaatje’s 1992 novel The English Patient. Other adaptations include: Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children, Yann Martel’s Life of Pi and A.S. Byatt’s Possession.
  11. Hilary Mantel is the first woman and the first British author to win the prize twice. JM Coetzee was the first person to win twice, in 1983 and again in 1999, when he described the Booker as ‘the ultimate prize to win in the English speaking world’. Peter Carey won first in 1988 and then in 2001. Mantel is the first person to win the prize for two novels in a trilogy.
  12. 2013 is the first time since the longlist started being released in 2001 that woman have outnumbered men on the list.

Follow this link to see a full List of Winners and Shortlisted Authors of the Booker Prize for Fiction

(via amandaonwriting:)


Sasha Weiss on Adelle Waldman’s brilliant debut, The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P

“It’s not a comforting book, but it offers a mercilessly clear view into a man’s mind as he grows tired of a worthy woman. And bracing truth can be its own consolation.”

Illustration by Jacques de Loustal

(via newyorker:)

"Everyone is isolated from everyone else. The concept of society is like a cushion to protect us from the knowledge of that isolation. A fiction that serves as an anesthetic."
"I think people are often quite unaware of their inner selves, their other selves, their imaginative selves, the selves that aren’t on show in the world. It’s something you grow out of from childhood onwards, losing possession of yourself, really. I think literature is one of the best ways back into that. You are hypnotized as soon as you get into a book that particularly works for you, whether it’s fiction or a poem. You find that your defenses drop, and as soon as that happens, an imaginative reality can take over because you are no longer censoring your own perceptions, your own awareness of the world."

Gather around children.  It’s time to tell you of our wonderful, terrible, tragic friends the humans.  The ancient ones still speak of their clever ways, in fact it’s even rumored that they were nearly as intelligent as us.  We’re told that they were strange in appearance as they had been forced to evolve most abnormally in order to accommodate their mysterious exodus from our share ancestral home.  Sadly today they live only in our memories, and no one can say with any certainty what exactly became of these once noble creatures.  We suspect that it may have been due to their insane fascination with recreating the powers of the universe.  Perhaps a Thermonuclear Accident, or intentional mutual destruction.  Their endless growth and expansionism might have even exhausted their seemingly infinite resources. It’s quite possible that they literally starved themselves into extinction.   Let me now for a moment take you back into the distant past.  I will speak of an age long before even the ever changing seasons marked the endless passage of time.  As the two great civilizations of the day, it was agreed upon that they would dominion over the land and sky above the waters, and our beloved oceans would be ours to cherish and protect.  Under this partnership our fragile and beautiful planet thrived and grew through countless millennia.  Though it seemed destined to last forever, something changed in our dear friends.  They grew steadily more selfish, uncaring, and even violent.  They waged horrific wars against their own kind.  Millions murdered for reasons beyond any rational comprehension.  Their hearts could have been poisoned by greed.  They may have even simply fallen asleep, the victims of a curse placed on them by their jealous warlike gods.  Whatever the reason, their hearts grew cold, their thoughts and deeds ever more dangerous.  In their uncaring manner, they destroyed the finite resources of the land and caused grievous harm to our ocean home as well.  We were nearly forced to resort to violent confrontation with our once dearest friends.  Thankfully sanity prevailed, as we realized that no one could possibly survive a war with such apocalyptic consequences.  Though tragic, in the end they somehow destroyed themselves.  Ironically the Earth may actually be all the better for this, yet they were once very dear to us and to the Earth herself.  Despite their fatal flaws, they once were our noble and trusted friends.  Children please learn from them.  We should remember them  and we should honor their memory, but we must never, never become like them.

(via mikefrawley:)