Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Bookies’ Favorite Wins International Prize

Julian Barnes, the bookmakers’ favorite, has been named the winner of the £50,000 Man Booker Prize for Fiction for The Sense of an Ending (Jonathan Cape). Barnes has been shortlisted for the award three previous times -- for Arthur and George (2005), England, England (1998) and Flaubert's Parrot (1984). This is his first win.

When Barnes’ place on the Man Booker shortlist was announced, judge Gaby Wood commented on The Sense of an Ending, sayings that the “tragedy trapped in this mundane life should be so moving, and so keenly felt by the character that he can only confront it half-blindly and in fragments, is the mark of a truly masterful novel.”

The awards were announced at a dinner at London’s Guildhall last night. 2011 chair of the judges, Dame Stella Rimington, commented that “Julian Barnes’ The Sense of an Ending has the markings of a classic of English Literature. It is exquisitely written, subtly plotted and reveals new depths with each reading.”

It’s interesting to note that the books shortlisted for this years’ prize have outsold any previous years. Sales of the novels are up 127% year-on-year and up 105% on the previous record in 2009.

The 65-year-old Barnes is the author of ten previous novels, three books of short stories and three collections of essays. He is the only writer to have won both of France’s highest literary honors: the Prix Médicis (for Flaubert’s Parrot) and the Prix Femina (for Talking it Over). He was awarded the Austrian State Prize for European Literature in 2004 and the David Cohen Prize for Literature in 2011 for his lifetime achievement in literature. He lives in London.

Also nominated:
  • Jamrach’s Menagerie, Carol Birch (Canongate Books)
  • The Sisters Brothers, Patrick deWitt (Granta/Anansi)
  • Half Blood Blues, Esi Edugyan (Serpent’s Tail/Profile)
  • Pigeon English, Stephen Kelman (Bloomsbury)
  • Snowdrops, A.D. Miller (Atlantic)



Blogger corpwritingpro said...

Congratulations to a much deserved favorite! Julian Barnes is a talented writer whose corpus bears testament to the strength of his intellect and the skill of his pen. While Stephen Kelman's Pigeon English made a strong show, Barnes is long overdue for this recognition. And this is no compensatory award. By all accounts, Barnes' most recent effort, Sense of an Ending, is well worth the coveted prize. I look forward to cozying up with it soon and finding out for myself.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011 at 10:05:00 AM PDT  

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