Saturday, 17 November, 2018

Michael Ondaatje's The English Patient wins prestigious Golden Man Booker Prize

Dame Hilary Mantel Booker Prize winning author at the FT Weekend Oxford Literary Festival Michael Ondaatje's The English Patient wins prestigious Golden Man Booker Prize
Lora Ball | 11 July, 2018, 11:43

But on Sunday evening Ondaatje edged ahead, with his bestselling novel The English Patient being named the best victor of the Booker prize of the last 50 years, in a public vote.

The novel - which was adapted into an Oscar-winning 1996 movie starring Ralph Fiennes and Juliette Binoche - was judged to be the best victor of the 52 books to have won the prestigious award.

The judges were: Robert McCrum, who chose In a Free State by V. S. Naipaul for the 1970s;Lemn Sissay, who chose Moon Tigerby Penelope Lively for the 1980s;Kamila Shamsie, who chose The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje for the 1990s;Simon Mayo, who chose Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel for the noughties; and Hollie McNish, who chose Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders for the 2010s.

A panel of five judges considered all 51 of the previous winners, before the top choice from each decade of the Man Booker was put to the public vote.

It beat four other novels in an online poll.

The Fund's Chairman of the Booker prize, Baroness Helena Kennedy in a statement following the vote, called the novel "the English patient" "the thrill of working in the field of fiction, poetic and philosophical".

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Despite now being judged the best book of the past 50 years, after its release, The English Patient shared the 1992 award with Barry Unsworth's 18th Century slave tale Sacred Hunger.

The English Patient was adapted into a film in 1996.

Shamsie said: "The English Patientis that rare novel which gets under your skin and insists you return to it time and again, always yielding a new surprise or delight".

"Ondaatje's imagination acknowledges no borders as it moves between Cairo, Italy, India, England, Canada - and between deserts and villas and bomb craters". He is one of only two authors whose work has won the Booker Prize and an Oscar, and his latest novel, Warlight, has just been published by Jonathan Cape.

The Golden Booker award marked the end of the Man Booker 50 Festival on the banks of the river Thames in London.

The 50th anniversary of the prize is being magnified globally with Man Booker author events at worldwide literary festivals across the world.

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