Britain's Man Booker Prize goes to Julian Barnes

Julian-Barnes

Image Credit: Ellen Warner

English author Julian Barnes won this year’s Man Booker Prize, Britain’s most prestigious literary award. (At $80,000, it’s also one of the most lucrative for a single book). The 65-year-old won for his brief, but concentrated, novel The Sense of an Ending, a story about a contented, middle-aged man whose past comes back to haunt him in surprising ways.

Stella Rimington, who headed the panel of judges this year, came under criticism recently for supposedly “dumbing down” the awards when she stated that the judges were looking to honor “readable” books: “We were looking for enjoyable books. I think they are readable books,” she said. “We wanted people to buy these books and read them. Not buy them and admire them.”

Barnes himself has criticized the Prize in the past, calling it “posh bingo” and accusing judges of being “inflated by their brief celebrity.”

The U.S. release of the book was fast-tracked from Jan. 2012 to Oct. 11 of this year in anticipation of the announcement of the award, which Barnes was widely favored to win.

Read more:
EW’s review of ‘The Sense of an Ending’
Lauren Myracle’s National Book Award nomination withdrawn — Myracle reacts on Twitter
National Book Awards finalists announced — Tea Obreht reacts to her nomination
On the Books Sept. 12: Knopf to fast-track publication of Julian Barnes’ novel

Comments (18 total) Add your comment
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  • Lisa Simpson

    Yay!

  • Yvonne

    Have been a big fan of Julian Barnes since “A History of the World in 10 and 1/2 Chapters,” so this is great news. (And I love Stella Rimington’s books too.) Being “readable” isn’t a crime!

  • Philis Stein

    I love books, but this one just sound boring. Every review I’ve read of it makes it sound like a major snorefest.

    • Neil

      It’s not boring. And besides, it’s less than 150 pages so you’d have to have pretty intense ADD not to make it all the way through.

    • Philis Stein

      Well, 150 pages does sound alri…. “Dancing With the Stars” results show is on !!!!!

      • DRG

        Sorry Phillis. Not every book is a pop up book.

  • mark

    cooool

  • cam

    Isn’t it redundant to mention he’s british since only british can win? (besides those comonwealth’s still part of the monarchy).

    • SC

      Uh, no, any citizen of the Commonwealth (and Ireland) can win. The last ten years have included two Canadians, two Australians, two Irish, and two Indians.

      • Jaqueline

        - I agree with the otufits as well, especially the colors. Her pink top is awesome with the blue/green and yellow racetrack colors.

  • Laundry

    $80,000 for 150 pages. I’d better get cracking on a first novel!

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