This year, the Man Booker Prize is celebrating its 50th anniversary. To mark the special event, a one-off Golden Man Booker Prize was awarded to a previous winner crowning the overall best work of fiction from the last five decades of the prize. Michael Ondaatje, author of the English Patient, recevied this year's accolade.
All 51 previous winners were considered and five selected by a panel of five specially appointed judges, each of whom was asked to read all the winning novels from one decade of the prize’s history. The five books thought to have best stood the test of time were: In a Free State by V. S. Naipaul; Moon Tiger by Penelope Lively; The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje; Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel; and Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders.
Winner of the Golden Man Booker Prize: The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje
Selected by novelist Kamila Shamsie for the 1990s, who called it, ‘that rare novel which gets under your skin and insists you return to it time and again, always yielding a new surprise or delight.’
This book is available in our library as braille and Talking Book (TB9654).
Representing the first decade of the prize, and chosen by writer and editor Robert McCrum, who described it as ‘outstandingly the best novel to win the Booker Prize in the 1970s, a disturbing book about displaced people at the dangerous edge of a disrupted world that could have been written yesterday, a classic for all seasons.’ Naipaul, who also received the Nobel Prize for Literature, is the oldest living winner of the Booker Prize.
This book is available in our library as braille and talking book (TB1832).
Picked by poet Lemn Sissay MBE to represent the best winner of 1980s, Sissay said: ‘Lively’s ability to bring her character and the world she inhabits into full technicolour is beautiful. This is a unique book about a fascinating unpredictable woman way ahead of her time and yet absolutely of her time’. Lively was shortlisted twice for the Booker Prize before her win with Moon Tiger.
This book is available in our library as braille, giant print, and Talking Book (TB6649).
Chosen as the best winner from the noughties by broadcaster and novelist Simon Mayo, Mantel is the only woman to have won the Man Booker Prize twice and Wolf Hall has since been adapted for TV and stage. Mayo said that ‘in its questioning of what England is and how it can disengage from Rome … [Wolf Hall is a] book as anguished as any essay about Brexit you’ll read in the papers.’
This book is available in our library as braille, giant print, and Talking Book (TB16735).
The most recent winner of the Man Booker Prize, was selected by poet Hollie McNish for the 2010s. Although well-known as a short story writer, the book is Saunders’ first full-length novel. McNish said, ‘I have never read a book like Lincoln in the Bardo … it was so funny, imaginative and tragic, but also a piece of genius in its originality of form and structure.’
This book is available in our library as braille, giant print, and Talking Book (TB23946).