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The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje wins the Golden Man Booker Prize

The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje wins the Golden Man Booker Prize

The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje wins the Golden Man Booker Prize

Celebrating five decades of the finest fiction

www.themanbookerprize.com| #ManBooker50

 

The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje (Bloomsbury) has been crowned the best work of fiction from the last five decades of the Man Booker Prize, it was announced today (Sunday 8 July). The Golden Man Booker winner was revealed at the closing event of the Man Booker 50 Festival in Royal Festival Hall at Southbank Centre.

The winner of this special one-off award for the Man Booker Prize’s 50th anniversary celebrations was chosen by the public. All 51 previous winners were considered by a panel of five specially appointed judges, each of whom was asked to read the winning novels from one decade of the prize’s history, before the books faced a month-long public vote on the Man Booker website.

The judges were: Robert McCrum, who chose In a Free State by V. S. Naipaul for the 1970s; Lemn Sissay, who chose Moon Tiger by 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.

At Golden Man Booker Live, judge Kamila Shamsie discussed why she had chosen The English Patient as her winner of the 1990s, before an extract of the book was performed by actor Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Michael Ondaatje was presented with his golden trophy.

 

Kamila Shamsie said:

"The English Patient is that rare novel which gets under your skin and insists you return to it time and again, always yielding a new surprise or delight. It moves seamlessly between the epic and the intimate – one moment you’re in looking at the vast sweep of the desert and the next moment watching a nurse place a piece of plum in a patient’s mouth. That movement is mirrored in the way your thoughts, while reading it, move between  large themes – war, loyalty, love – to  tiny shifts in the relationships between characters. It’s intricately (and rewardingly) structured, beautifully written, with great humanity written into every page. Ondaatje’s imagination acknowledges no borders as it moves between Cairo, Italy, India, England, Canada – and between deserts and villas and bomb craters. And through all this, he makes you fall in love with his characters, live their joys and their sorrows. Few novels really deserve the praise: transformative. This one does."

 

The English Patient opens in an abandoned Italian villa at the end of the Second World War where Hana, a nurse, tends to her sole remaining patient. Rescued from a burning plane, the anonymous Englishman is damaged beyond recognition and haunted by painful memories. The only clue Hana has to unlocking his past is the one thing he clung on to through the fire – a copy of The Histories by Herodotus, covered with hand-written notes detailing a tragic love affair.

Michael Ondaatje is one of the world’s foremost writers, whose work has influenced an entire generation of writers and readers. Although he is best known as a novelist, Ondaatje’s work also encompasses poetry, memoir, and film, and reveals a passion for defying conventional form. 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.

 

Baroness Helena Kennedy, Chair of the Booker Prize Foundation, comments:

The English Patient is a compelling work of fiction – both poetic and philosophical – and is a worthy winner of the Golden Man Booker. As we celebrate the prize’s 50th anniversary, it’s a testament to the impact and legacy of the Man Booker Prize that all of the winning books are still in print. I’m confident that this special book, chosen by the public, will continue to stand the test of time and delight new readers for many more years to come.”

 

Luke Ellis, CEO of Man Group, comments:

“Congratulations to Michael Ondaatje, as well as each of the shortlisted authors who have been recognised today and over the years for their contribution to fiction. The Golden Man Booker celebrates the literary brilliance that the Man Booker Prize has championed over the last five decades, and we are delighted to celebrate the important role it continues to play in inspiring literary endeavour.”

 

The 50th anniversary of the prize is being magnified globally with Man Booker author events at international literary festivals across the world, and major festivals in the UK, including Hay Festival, Cheltenham Literature Festival and Edinburgh International Book Festival amongst others. The anniversary will be supported through video, livestream and podcasts, alongside an online exhibition on the Man Booker website including archive material on the prize from the British Library and Oxford Brookes University.

The Man Booker Prize is sponsored by Man Group, an active investment management firm.

To hear the most up-to-date news on the prize, listen to the Man Booker Prize Podcast series, and to learn more about the prize’s history, please visit:

 

www.themanbookerprize.com

 

@ManBookerPrize | #FinestFiction |#ManBooker50

 

For all press enquiries please contact:

Four Colman Getty on +44 (0)20 3697 4200

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Notes to Editors

 

Images of the winning book jacket, author and the Golden Man Booker logo are available here.

 

The videos of the judges discussing their choices are available here to be embedded in news stories or share on social media.

 

 

The winning books that were in contention for the Golden Man Booker Prize:

 

Decade

Judge

Year

Book title

Author

Publisher

1970s

Robert McCrum

1969

 Something to Answer For

P.H Newby

Faber & Faber

1970

 The Elected Member

Bernice Rubens

Abacus

1971

 In a Free State

V.S Naipaul

Picador

1972

 G

John Berger

Bloomsbury

1973

 The Siege of Krishnapur

J.G Farrell

Orion

1974

 The Conservationist

Nadine Gordimer

Bloomsbury

1974

 Holiday

Stanley Middleton

Windmill Books

1975

 Heat and Dust

Ruth Prawer Jhabvala

Abacus 

1976

 Saville

David Storey

Vintage

1977

 Staying On

Paul Scott

Arrow

1978

 The Sea, the Sea

Iris Murdoch

Vintage

1979

 Offshore

Penelope Fitzgerald

Fourth Estate

1980s

Lemn Sissay

1980

 Rites of Passage

William Golding

Faber & Faber

1981

 Midnight's Children

Salman Rushdie

Vintage

1982

 Schindler's Ark

Thomas Keneally

Sceptre 

1983

 Life & Times of Michael K

J.M Coetzee

Vintage

1984

 Hotel du Lac

Anita Brookner

Penguin

1985

 The Bone People

Keri Hulme

Picador

1986

 The Old Devils

Kingsley Amis

Vintage

1987

 Moon Tiger

Penelope Lively

Penguin

1988

 Oscar and Lucinda

Peter Carey

Faber & Faber

1989

 The Remains of the Day

Kazuo Ishiguro

Faber & Faber

1990s

Kamila Shamsie

1990

 Possession

A.S Byatt

Vintage

1991

 The Famished Road

Ben Okri

Vintage

1992

 The English Patient

Michael Ondaatje

Bloomsbury

1992

 Sacred Hunger

Barry Unsworth

Penguin

1993

 Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha

Roddy Doyle

Vintage

1994

 How Late It Was, How Late

James Kelman

Vintage

1995

 The Ghost Road

Pat Barker

Penguin

1996

 Last Orders

Graham Swift

Picador

1997

 The God of Small Things

Arundhati Roy

Fourth Estate

1998

 Amsterdam

Ian McEwan

Vintage

1999

 Disgrace

J.M. Coetzee

Vintage

2000s

Simon Mayo

2000

 The Blind Assassin

Margaret Atwood

Bloomsbury

2001

 True History of the Kelly   Gang

Peter Carey

Faber & Faber

2002

 Life of Pi

Yann Martel

Canongate

2003

 Vernon God Little

D.B.C. Pierre

Faber & Faber

2004

 The Line of Beauty

Alan Hollinghurst

Picador

2005

 The Sea

John Banville

Picador

2006

 The Inheritance of Loss

Kiran Desai

Penguin

2007

 The Gathering

Anne Enright

Vintage

2008

 The White Tiger

Aravind Adiga

Atlantic

2009

 Wolf Hall

Hilary Mantel

Fourth Estate

2010s

Hollie McNish

2010

 The Finkler Question

Howard Jacobson

Bloomsbury

2011

 The Sense of an Ending

Julian Barnes

Vintage

2012

 Bring Up the Bodies

Hilary Mantel

Fourth Estate

2013

 The Luminaries

Eleanor Catton

Granta 

2014

 The Narrow Road to the   Deep North

Richard Flanagan

Vintage

2015

 A Brief History of Seven   Killings

Marlon James

Oneworld

2016

 The Sellout

Paul Beatty

Oneworld

2017

 Lincoln in the Bardo

George Saunders

Bloomsbury

 

  • Four Colman Getty handles PR and event management for the prize and provides all administrative back-up

 

  • The Literary Director of the Booker Prize Foundation is Gaby Wood. The Administrator of the Man Booker International Prize is Fiammetta Rocco – Culture Correspondent at The Economist and 1843

 

  • George Saunders won the 2017 Man Booker Prize for Fiction with Lincoln in the Bardo (Bloomsbury Publishing). Bloomsbury issued an immediate reprint of 100,000 copies. In the week following the 2017 winner announcement, sales of Lincoln in the Bardo increased by 1227%. The book was announced as the Sunday Times’ Novel of the Year

 

  • In 2018, the Man Booker Prize is being chaired by philosopher, cultural theorist and novelist Kwame Anthony Appiah and the judging panel consists of: crime writer Val McDermid; cultural critic Leo Robson; feminist writer and critic Jacqueline Rose; and artist and graphic novelist Leanne Shapton.

 

  • The longlist for the 2018 Man Booker Prize will be announced on 24 July 2018.

 

  • The Man Booker Prize for Fiction was first awarded in 1969 and has been sponsored by Man Group since 2002. The title ‘Booker Prize’ therefore only applies to prize years 1969 – 2001, before Man Group’s sponsorship began, and since 2002 it has been called The Man Booker Prize for Fiction. It would be greatly appreciated if you could ensure that your editorial is factually correct by referring to the prize’s full title at least once, if not in the headline, then in your next subsequent mention.  For a full history of the prize including previous winners, shortlisted authors and judges visit the website: www.themanbookerprize.com

 

  • The Man Booker International Prize is awarded annually in May for the best single work of fiction translated into English and published in the UK. The £50,000 prize is divided equally between the author and the translator. Each shortlisted author and translator receives £1,000. The 2018 winner was Flights written by Olga Tokarczuk and translated by Jennifer Croft. Chaired by author and cultural commentator Lisa Appignanesi OBE, the 2018 panel consisted of: translator Michael Hofmann; novelist and essayist Hari Kunzru; critic Tim Martin; and novelist and short story writer Helen Oyeyemi.

 

  • The Booker Prize Foundation is a registered charity (no 1090049) established in 2002. Since then it has been responsible for the award of the Man Booker Prize for Fiction, and for the Man Booker International Prize since its inauguration in 2005. The trustees of the Booker Prize Foundation are: Baroness Kennedy QC (Chair) – former Chair of the British Council and Principal of Mansfield College, Oxford; Bidisha – writer, critic and broadcaster; James Naughtie – broadcaster; Ben Okri OBE – writer and 1991 Booker Prize winner; Christopher Pearce – former Finance Director of Rentokil plc; Professor Louise Richardson – Vice Chancellor of the University of Oxford. Jonathan Taylor CBE is President of the Foundation and Sir Ronald Harwood, Baroness Neuberger and Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne are Vice Presidents

 

  • The Booker Prize Foundation Advisory Committee, which advises on any changes to the rules and on the selection of the judges, represents all aspects of the book world. Its members are: Mark Chilton – Company Secretary and General Counsel of Booker Group plc; Jonty Claypole – Head of Arts, BBC; James Daunt – Managing Director of Waterstones; Jonathan Douglas – Director of the National Literacy Trust; Maggie Fergusson – writer and Secretary of the Royal Society of Literature; Adam Freudenheim – publisher, Pushkin Press; Derek Johns – Author & Literary Agent; Peter Kemp – Chief Fiction Reviewer, The Sunday Times; Rosanna Konarzewski – Global Head of Communications and Marketing, Man Group; Nigel Newton – publisher, Bloomsbury; Fiammetta Rocco – Culture Correspondent at The Economist and 1843 and Man Booker International Prize Administrator; Michal Shavit – publishing director, Jonathan Cape; Eve Smith – Secretary, the Booker Prize Foundation; Boyd Tonkin – writer and critic. It is chaired by Gaby Wood, Literary Director, Booker Prize Foundation

 

  • Man Group has sponsored the Man Booker Prize since 2002 and the Man Booker International Prize since its inception in 2005. An active investment management firm founded in 1783, Man Group was recognised as a partner that mirrored the quality, integrity and longevity of the Booker Prize. The prize underscores Man Group's charitable focus on literacy and education, as well as the firm’s commitment to excellence and creativity. Together with the wider charitable activities of the Booker Prize Foundation, the prizes play a very important role in promoting literary excellence on a global scale that the firm is honoured to support

 

  • Man Group is a global active investment management firm, which runs $112.7 billion* of client capital in liquid and private markets, managed by investment specialists based around the world. Headquartered in London, the firm has 15 international offices and operates across 25 jurisdictions. Our business has five specialist investment engines, which represent the range of our capabilities: Man AHL, Man Numeric, Man GLG, Man FRM and Man GPM. These engines house numerous investment teams, working collaboratively within the framework of Man Group, with a high degree of investment autonomy. Each team benefits from the strength and resources of the firm’s single operating platform, enabling their primary focus to be seeking to generate alpha for clients. The teams invest across a diverse range of strategies and asset classes with highly specialised approaches, with long only and alternative strategies run on a discretionary and quantitative basis in single and multi-manager formats. Our clients are at the heart of everything we do and we engage in close dialogue with our investors as strategic partners, to understand their particular needs and constraints. Man Group’s investment teams are empowered and supported by our institutional infrastructure and technology, which aims to facilitate the most efficient exposure to markets and effective collaboration across the organisation.

 

Through the Man Charitable Trust and sponsorship of the Man Booker Prizes, Man Group is committed to promoting literacy and numeracy on a global scale, and to supporting charitable causes more broadly.

 

Man Group plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange under the ticker EMG.LN and is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index. Further information can be found at www.man.com.

 

*As at 31 March 2018. All investment management and advisory services are offered through the investment “engines” of Man AHL, Man Numeric, Man GLG, Man FRM and Man Global Private Markets (GPM)

 

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  • The Booker Prize Foundation has a longstanding partnership with RNIB (Royal National Institute of Blind People). The Foundation funds the production of the shortlisted titles in braille, giant print and audio, which the sight loss charity produces by the date the winner is announced. The accessible versions are then made available to the tens of thousands of blind and partially sighted members of the RNIB Library. People with sight loss have a limited choice of books in accessible formats and often have to wait much longer than their sighted peers for titles to be made available to them – and there are many more books that they will never have the chance to read. The Foundation is working with RNIB to change this story. For further information contact the RNIB PR Team on 020 7391 2223 or pressoffice@rnib.org.uk

 

  • The Booker Prize Foundation has partnered with the National Literary Trust since 2012 to deliver Books Unlocked. The Foundation funds the programme, which has transformed the lives of prisoners and young offenders in the UK by helping them develop a love of reading. Prisoners are able to engage with high-quality writing as copies of Man Booker Prize shortlisted titles are sent out to prison reading groups. These same titles are also serialised as audiobooks on National Prison Radio, which is broadcast into c.80,000 cells, enabling still more prisoners to experience these exceptional stories. Authors go into prisons to discuss their writing directly with reading groups and many also record interviews on National Prison Radio. The shared vision for Books Unlocked is to bring about positive change in prisoners’ life chances. 2018 is the National Literacy Trust’s 25th anniversary. For 25 years the charity has led the campaign to transform the future of the UK’s most disadvantaged young people by improving their literacy levels: literacytrust.org.uk/programmes/books-unlocked/

 

  • The Booker Prize Archive was given on loan in 2003 to Oxford Brookes University where it now resides

 

  • Southbank Centre is the UK’s largest arts centre, occupying a 17-acre site that sits in the midst of London’s most vibrant cultural quarter on the South Bank of the Thames. The site has an extraordinary creative and architectural history stretching back to the 1951 Festival of Britain. Southbank Centre is home to the Royal Festival Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Purcell Room and Hayward Gallery as well as The National Poetry Library and the Arts Council Collection. For further information please visit www.southbankcentre.co.uk

 

 

Four Colman Getty

July 2018