Best of the Booker Award

Celebrating 40 years of the Man Booker Prize

by Liz Olson
Nadine Gordimer

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In honor of the Man Booker Prize for Fiction’s 40th anniversary, a one-time award—Best of the Booker—was awarded in 2008. The award honours the best novel to have won the prize since it was first awarded 22 April 1969. Forty-one novels are eligible for the prize because there were two winners in 1974 and 1992.

A short-list of six novels was chosen by a judging panel that had Victoria Glendinning as the chairwoman. The short-listed books included The Conservationist by Nadine Gordimer, J M Coetzee's Disgrace, Salman Rushdie's Midnight's Children, The Siege of Krishnapur by J G Farrell, Oscar and Lucinda by Peter Carey, and The Ghost Road by Pat Barker.

The public was asked to participate in choosing a winner by voting for their choice of the six novels. The top three favourites to win were Yann Martel’s Life of Pi, Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children, and Ondaatje’s English Patient.

Salman Rushdie and his novel, Midnight’s Children, won the Best of the Booker Award, which was announced at the London Literature Festival at the Southbank Centre in July. Rushdie’s Midnight Children won the Man Booker Prize in 1981 and was also chosen as the Booker of Bookers in 1993.

Did you know?
In 1957, Althea Gibson became the first black tennis player to win a Wimbledon singles championship.

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