Man Booker Prize Winners

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The Man Booker Prize for Fiction is a literary prize awarded each year for the best original full-length novel, written in the English language, by a citizen of the Commonwealth of Nations, Ireland, or Zimbabwe. The winner of the Man Booker Prize is generally assured of international renown and success; therefore, the prize is of great significance for the book trade. In contrast to literary prizes in the United States, the Booker Prize is greeted with great anticipation and fanfare. It is also a mark of distinction for authors to be selected for inclusion in the shortlist or even to be nominated for the "longlist" (from Wikipedia).

Source of list: http://www.themanbookerprize.com/

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2013 - The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton

The Luminaries

It is 1866, and Walter Moody has come to make his fortune upon the New Zealand goldfields. On arrival, he stumbles across a tense gathering of twelve local men, who have met in secret to discuss a series of unsolved crimes. A wealthy man has vanished, a whore has tried to end her life, and an enormous fortune has been discovered in the home of a luckless drunk. Moody is soon drawn into the mystery: a network of fates and fortunes that is as complex and exquisitely patterned as the night sky. The Luminaries is an extraordinary piece of fiction. It is full of narrative, linguistic and psychological pleasures, and has a fiendishly clever and original structuring device. Written in pitch-perfect historical register, richly evoking a mid-19th century world of shipping and banking and goldrush boom and bust, it is also a ghost story, and a gripping mystery. It is a thrilling achievement for someone still in her mid-20s, and will confirm for critics and readers that Catton is one of the brightest stars in the international writing firmament.

2012 - Bring up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel

Bring up the Bodies

The sequel to the Man Booker-winning Wolf Hall. ‘My boy Thomas, give him a dirty look and he’ll gouge your eye out. Trip him, and he’ll cut off your leg,’ says Walter Cromwell in the year 1500. ‘But if you don’t cut across him he’s a very gentleman. And he’ll stand anyone a drink.’ By 1535 Thomas Cromwell, the blacksmith’s son, is far from his humble origins. Chief Minister to Henry VIII, his fortunes have risen with those of Anne Boleyn, Henry’s second wife, for whose sake Henry has broken with Rome and created his own church. But Henry’s actions have forced England into dangerous isolation, and Anne has failed to do what she promised: bear a son to secure the Tudor line. When Henry visits Wolf Hall, Cromwell watches as Henry falls in love with the silent, plain Jane Seymour. The minister sees what is at stake: not just the king’s pleasure, but the safety of the nation. As he eases a way through the sexual politics of the court, its miasma of gossip, he must negotiate a ‘truth’ that will satisfy Henry and secure his own career. But neither minister nor king will emerge undamaged from the bloody theatre of Anne’s final days. In ‘Bring up the Bodies’, sequel to the Man Booker Prize-winning ‘Wolf Hall’, Hilary Mantel explores one of the most mystifying and frightening episodes in English history: the destruction of Anne Boleyn. This new novel is a speaking picture, an audacious vision of Tudor England that sheds its light on the modern world. It is the work of one of our great writers at the height of her powers.

2011 - The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes

The Sense of an Ending

Tony Webster and his clique first met Adrian Finn at school. Sex-hungry and book-hungry, they would navigate the girl-less sixth form together, trading in affectations, in-jokes, rumour and wit. Maybe Adrian was a little more serious than the others, certainly more intelligent, but they all swore to stay friends for life. Now Tony is in middle age. He’s had a career and a single marriage, a calm divorce. He’s certainly never tried to hurt anybody. Memory, though, is imperfect. It can always throw up surprises, as a lawyer’s letter is about to prove.The Sense of an Ending is the story of one man coming to terms with the mutable past. Laced with trademark precision, dexterity and insight, it is the work of one of the world’s most distinguished writers.

2010 - The Finkler Question by Howard Jacobson

The Finkler Question

Julian Treslove, a professionally unspectacular former BBC radio producer, and Sam Finkler, a popular Jewish philosopher, writer and television personality, are old school friends. Despite very different lives, they've never quite lost touch with each other - or with their former teacher, Libor Sevcik. Both Libor and Finkler are recently widowed, and together with Treslove they share a sweetly painful evening revisiting a time before they had loved and lost. It is that very evening, when Treslove hesitates a moment as he walks home, that he is attacked - and his whole sense of who and what he is slowly and ineluctably changes.

2009 - Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel

Wolf Hall

Winner of the Man Booker Prize 2009 'Lock Cromwell in a deep dungeon in the morning,' says Thomas More, 'and when you come back that night he'll be sitting on a plush cushion eating larks' tongues, and all the gaolers will owe him money.'

2008 - The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga

The White Tiger

Balram, the White Tiger, was born in a backwater village on the River Ganges, the son of a rickshaw-puller. He works in a teashop, crushing coal and wiping tables, but nurses a dream of escape. When he learns that a rich village landlord needs a chauffeur, he takes his opportunity, and is soon on his way to Delhi behind the wheel of a Honda.

2007 - The Gathering by Anne Enright

The Gathering

The nine surviving children of the Hegarty clan gather in Dublin for the wake of their wayward brother Liam. It wasn't the drink that killed him - it was what happened to him as a boy in his grandmother's house, in the winter of 1968. This novel is about love and disappointment, about thwarted lust and limitless desire.

2006 - The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai

The Inheritance of Loss

In foothills of Himalayas sits a house - home to three people and a dog. There is retired judge dreaming of colonial yesterdays; his orphaned granddaughter Sai who has fallen for her tutor; the cook, whose son writes untruthful letters; and judge's dog. This book shows how new world is clashing with old, and future offers both hope and betrayal.

2005 - The Sea by John Banville

The Sea

Max Morden, a middle-aged Irishman returns to the seaside town where he spent his summer holidays as a child--a retreat from the grief, anger, and numbness of his life without his recently deceased wife. It is also a return to the place where he experienced the strange suddenness of both love and death for the first time and his memories of the past.

2004 - The Line of Beauty by Alan Hollinghurst

The Line of Beauty

It is the summer of 1983, and young Nick Guest, an innocent in the matters of politics and money, has moved into an attic room in the Notting Hill home of the Feddens: Gerald, an ambitious new Tory MP, his wealthy wife Rachel, and their children Toby and Catherine. Nick had idolized Toby at Oxford, but in his London life it will be the troubled Catherine who becomes his friend and his uneasy responsibility. At the boom years of the mid-80s unfold, Nick becomes caught up in the Feddens’ world. In an era of endless possibility, Nick finds himself able to pursue his own private obsession, with beauty – a prize as compelling to him as power and riches are to his friends.

2003 - Vernon God Little by DBC Pierre

Vernon God Little

Fifteen-year-old Vernon Gregory Little is in trouble, and it has something to do with the recent massacre of 16 students at his high school. Soon, the quirky backwater of Martirio, barbecue capital of Texas, is flooded with wannabe CNN hacks, eager for a scapegoat.

2002 - Life of Pi by Yann Martel

Life of Pi

The only survivors of a sinking cargo ship are a boy named Pi, a hyena, a zebra, an orang-utan and a LARGE tiger.

2001 - True History of the Kelly Gang by Peter Carey

True History of the Kelly Gang

In 1878 Francis Harty, a poor farmer, said, 'Ned Kelly is the best bloody man that has ever been in Benalla, I would fight up to my knees in blood for him - I have known him for years, I would take his word sooner than another man's oath'. By the time of his hanging in 1880 a whole country would seem to agree.

2000 - The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood

The Blind Assassin

"It's loss and regret and misery and yearning that drive the story forward," writes Margaret Atwood, towards the end of her impressive and complex new novel, The Blind Assassin. It's a melancholic account of why writers write--and readers read--and one that frames the different lives told through this book. The Blind Assassin is (at least) two novels. At the end of her life, Iris Griffen takes up her pen to record the secret history of her family, the romantic melodrama of its decline and fall between the two World Wars. Conjuring a world of prosperity and misery, marriage and loneliness, the central enigma of Iris's tale is the death of her sister, Laura Chase, who "drove a car off a bridge" at the end of the Second World War. Suicide or accident? The story gradually unfolds, interspersed with sketches of Iris's present-day life--confined by age and ill-health--and a second novel, The Blind Assassin by Laura Chase. Allowing a glimpse into a clandestine love affair between a privileged young woman and a radical "agitator" on the run, this version of The Blind Assassin is an overt act of seduction: the exchange of sex and story about an imaginary world of Sakiel-Norn (a play with the potential, and convention, of fantasy and sci-fi). With the intelligence, subtlety and remarkable characterisation associated with Atwood's writing (from her first novel, The Edible Woman through to the best-selling Alias Grace), these two stories play with one another--sustaining an uncertainty about who has done what to who and why to the very end of this compelling book. --Vicky Lebeau

1999 - Disgrace by J M Coetzee

Disgrace

A divorced, middle-aged English professor finds himself increasingly unable to resist affairs with his female students. When discovered by the college authorities he is expected to apologize to save his job, but instead he refuses and resigns, retiring to live with his daughter on her remote farm.

1998 - Amsterdam by Ian McEwan

Amsterdam

Two old friends, Clive Linley and Vernon Halliday meet in the throng outside a crematorium to pay their last respects to Molly Lane. Both had been Molly's lovers in the days before they reached their current eminence. In the days that follow Molly's funeral, Clive and Vernon will make a pact that will have consequences neither has foreseen.

1997 - The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy

The God of Small Things

‘They all broke the rules. They all crossed into forbidden territory. They all tampered with the laws that lay down who should be loved, and how. And how much.’ This is the story of Rahel and Estha, twins growing up among the banana vats and peppercorns of their blind grandmother’s factory, and amid scenes of political turbulence in Kerala. Armed only with the innocence of youth, they fashion a childhood in the shade of the wreck that is their family: their lonely, lovely mother, their beloved Uncle Chacko (pickle baron, radical Marxist, bottom-pincher) and their sworn enemy, Baby Kochamma (ex-nun, incumbent grand-aunt). Arundhati Roy’s Booker Prize-winning novel was the literary sensation of the 1990s: a story anchored to anguish but fuelled by wit and magic.

1996 - Last Orders by Graham Swift

Last Orders

Four men once close to Jack Dodds, a London butcher, meet to carry out his peculiar last wish: to have his ashes scattered into the sea. For reasons best known to herself, Jack’s widow, Amy, declines to join them. On the surface the tale of a simple if increasingly bizarre day’s outing, Last Orders is Graham Swift’s most poignant exploration of the complexity and courage of ordinary lives.

1995 - The Ghost Road by Pat Barker

The Ghost Road

1918, the closing months of the war. Army psychiatrist William Rivers is concerned for the men who have been in his care - particularly Billy Prior, who is about to return to combat in France with young poet Wilfred Owen. This book offers an account of the devastating final months of the First World War.

1994 - How Late It Was How Late by James Kelman

How Late It Was How Late

Sammy's had a bad week - his wallet's gone, along with his new shoes, he's been arrested then beaten up by the police and thrown out on the street - and he's just gone blind. He remembers a row with his girlfriend, but she seems to have disappeared. Things aren't looking too good for Sammy and his problems have hardly begun.

1993 - Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha by Roddy Doyle

Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha

Roddy Doyle's Booker Prize-winning novel describes the world of ten-year-old Paddy Clarke, growing up in Barrytown, north Dublin. From fun and adventure on the streets, boredom in the classroom to increasing isolation at home, Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha is the story of a boy who sees everything but understands less and less.

1992 - Sacred Hunger by Barry Unsworth

Sacred Hunger

A story about the entangled and conflicted fortunes of two cousins: Erasmus Kemp, the son of a Lancashire merchant, and Matthew Paris, a scholar and surgeon just released from prison for denying Holy Writ. This novel was awarded 1992 Booker prize.

1992 - The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje

The English Patient

The final curtain is closing on the Second World War, and Hana, a nurse, stays behind in an abandoned Italian villa to tend to her only remaining patient. Rescued by Bedouins from a burning plane, he is English, anonymous, damaged beyond recognition and haunted by his memories of passion and betrayal. The only clue Hana has to 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 describing a painful and ultimately tragic love affair.

1991 - The Famished Road by Ben Okri

The Famished Road

Azaro is a spirit child who is born only to live for a short while before returning to the idyllic world of his spirit companions. Now he has chosen to stay in the world of the living.

1990 - Possession: A Romance by A S Byatt

Possession: A Romance

Winner of the 1990 Booker Prize, this novel describes the romance between two 19th-century poets and the parallel relationship of their two biographers and includes passages of 'Victorian verse'. It is structured in the form of a literary and biographical treasure hunt.

1989 - The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro

The Remains of the Day

In the summer of 1956, Stevens, the ageing butler of Darlington Hall, embarks on a leisurely holiday that will take him deep into the countryside and into his past.

1988 - Oscar and Lucinda by Peter Carey

Oscar and Lucinda

Oscar Hopkins is an Oxford seminarian with a passion for gambling. Lucinda Leplastrier is a Sydney heiress with a fascination for glass. The year is 1864. When they meet on the boat to Australia their lives will be forever changed.

1987 - Moon Tiger by Penelope Lively

Moon Tiger

Claudia Hampton is dying. As memories crowd in, she re-creates the mosiac of her life, her own story enmeshed with those of her brother, her lover and father of her daughter, and the centre of her life, Tom, her one great love both found and lost in the "mad fairyland" of war-torn Egypt.

1986 - The Old Devils by Kingsley Amis

The Old Devils

Malcolm, Peter and Charlie and their Soave-sodden wives have one main ambition left in life: to drink Wales dry. But their routine is both shaken and stirred when they are joined by professional Welshman Alun Weaver (CBE) and his wife, Rhiannon.

1985 - The Bone People by Keri Hulme

The Bone People

Set in the harsh environment of the South Island beaches of New Zealand, this masterful story brings together three singular people in a trinity that reflects their country's varied heritage. Winner of the 1985 Booker-McConnell prize for fiction.

1984 - Hotel du Lac by Anita Brookner

Hotel du Lac

Into the rarefied atmosphere of the Hotel du Lac timidly walks Edith Hope, romantic novelist and holder of modest dreams. Edith has been exiled from home. But among the pampered women and minor nobility Edith finds Mr Neville, and her chance to escape from a life of humiliating spinsterhood is renewed.

1983 - Life and Times of Michael K by J M Coetzee

Life and Times of Michael K

In a South Africa torn by civil war, Michael K sets out to take his mother back to her rural home. On the way there she dies, leaving him alone in an anarchic world of brutal roving armies. Imprisoned, Michael is unable to bear confinement and escapes, determined to live with dignity. Life and Times of Michael K goes to the centre of human experience - the need for an interior, spiritual life, for some connections to the world in which we live, and for purity of vision.

1982 - Schindler's Ark by Thomas Keneally

Schindler's Ark

In the shadow of Auschwitz, a flamboyant German industrialist grew into a living legend to the Jews of Cracow. He was a womaniser, a heavy drinker and a bon viveur, but to them he became a saviour. This is the extraordinary story of Oskar Schindler, who risked his life to protect Jews in Nazi-occupied Poland and who was transformed by the war into a man with a mission, a compassionate angel of mercy.

1981 - Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie

Midnight's Children

Saleem Sinai was born at midnight, the midnight of India's independence, and found himself mysteriously 'handcuffed to history' by the coincidence. He is one of 1,001 children born at the midnight hour, each of them endowed with an extraordinary talent - and whose privilege and curse it is to be both master and victims of their times. Through Saleem's gifts - inner ear and wildly sensitive sense of smell - we are drawn into a fascinating family saga set against the vast, colourful background of the India of the 20th century.

1980 - Rites of Passage by William Golding

Rites of Passage

Sailing to Australia in the early years of the nineteenth century, Edmund Talbot keeps a journal to amuse his godfather back in England. Full of wit and disdain, he records the mounting tensions on the ancient, sinking warship where officers, sailors, soldiers and emigrants jostle in the cramped spaces below decks. Then a single passenger, the obsequious Reverend Colley, attracts the animosity of the sailors, and in the seclusion of the fo'castle something happens to bring him into a 'hell of degradation', where shame is a force deadlier than the sea itself.

1979 - Offshore by Penelope Fitzgerald

Offshore

Penelope Fitzgerald's Booker Prize-winning novel set among the houseboat community of the Thames. ‘Offshore’ is a dry, genuinely funny novel, set among the houseboat community who rise and fall with the tide of the Thames on Battersea Reach. Living between land and water, they feel as if they belong to neither… Maurice, a male prostitute, is the sympathetic friend to whom all the others turn. Nenna loves her husband but can’t get him back; her children run wild on the muddy foreshore. She feels drawn to Richard, the ex-RNVR city man whose converted minesweeper dominates the Reach. Is he sexually attractive because he can fold maps the right way? With this and other questions waiting to be answered, ‘Offshore’ offers a delightful glimpse of the workings of an eccentric community.

1978 - The Sea, The Sea by Iris Murdoch

The Sea, The Sea

When Charles Arrowby retires from his glittering career in the London theatre, he buys a remote house on the rocks by the sea. He hopes to escape from his tumultuous love affairs but unexpectedly bumps into his childhood sweetheart and sets his heart on destroying her marriage.

1977 - Staying On by Paul Scott

Staying On

Tusker and Lily Smalley stayed on in India. Given the chance to return 'home' when Tusker, once a Colonel in the British Army, retired, they chose instead to remain in the small hill town of Pangkot, with its eccentric inhabitants and archaic rituals left over from the days of the Empire.

1976 - Saville by David Storey

Saville

Colin Saville grows up in a mining village in South Yorkshire, against the background of war, of an industrialised countryside, of town and coalmine and village.

1975 - Heat and Dust by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala

Heat and Dust

The beautiful, spoiled, and bored Olivia, married to a civil servant, outrages society in the tiny, suffocating town of Satipur by eloping with an Indian prince. Fifty years later, her step-granddaughter goes back to the heat, the dust and the squalor of the bazaars to solve the enigma of Olivia's scandal.

1974 - The Conservationist by Nadine Gordimer

The Conservationist

Mehring is rich. He has all the privileges and possessions that South Africa has to offer, but his possessions refuse to remain objects. His wife, son and mistress leave him; his foreman and workers become increasingly indifferent to his stewardship; even the land rises up, as drought, then flood, destroy his farm. As the upheaval in Mehring's world increasingly resembles that in the country as a whole, it becomes clear that only a seismic shift in ideas and concrete action can avert annihilation.

1974 - Holiday by Stanley Middleton

Holiday

This consummate portrait of English provincial life, an extremely subtle story, told with all Middleton's artistry and depth of feeling, was joint winner of the Booker Prize in 1974. Edwin Fisher is on holiday at the English seaside but this revisiting of childhood haunts is no ordinary holiday. Edwin is seeking to understand the failure of his marriage to Meg, but it turns out that her parents are staying at the same resort whether by accident or design and are keen to patch up the relationship. As the past and his enigmatic wife loom larger, deeper truths emerge and the perspective shifts in unexpected ways.

1973 - The Siege Of Krishnapur by J.G. Farrell

The Siege Of Krishnapur

In the Spring of 1857, with India on the brink of a violent and bloody mutiny, Krishnapur is a remote town on the vast North Indian plain. For the British there, life is orderly and genteel. Then the sepoys at the nearest military cantonment rise in revolt and the British community retreats with shock into the Residency. They prepare to fight for their lives with what weapons they can muster. As food and ammunition grow short, the Residency, its defences battered by shot and shell and eroded by the rains, becomes ever more vulnerable. The Siege of Krishnapur is a modern classic of narrative excitement that also digs deep to explore some fundamental questions of civilisation and life.

1972 - G by John Berger

G

In this luminous novel about a modern Don Juan, John Berger relates the story of G., a young man forging an energetic sexual career in Europe during the early years of the last century as Europe teeters on the brink of war. With profound compassion, Berger explores the hearts and minds of both men and women, and what happens during sex, to reveal the conditions of the libertine's success: his essential loneliness, the quiet cumulation in each of his sexual experiences of all of those that precede it, the tenderness that infuses even the briefest of his encounters, and the way women experience their own extraordinariness through their liaisons with him. Set against the turbulent backdrop of Garibaldi's attempt to unite Italy, the failed revolution of Milanese workers in 1898, the Boer War and the dramatic first flight across the Alps, G. is a brilliant novel about the search for intimacy in the turmoil of history.

1971 - In A Free State by V. S. Naipaul

In A Free State

In a Free State deals in displacement. It tells first of an Indian servant in Washington, then of an Asian West Indian in London who is in jail for murder. Then the story moves to Africa, to a fictional country something like Uganda or Rwanda. The two main characters are English. They once found Africa liberating, but now it has gone sour on them. At a time of tribal conflict they have to make the long drive to the safety of their compound. In the background, the threat of violence looms.The voices in this novel are breathtakingly vivid, while the characters are portrayed with an intelligence and sensitivity that is rarely seen in contemporary writing. Dennis Potter described the book as one 'of such lucid complexity and such genuine insight, so deft and deep, that it somehow manages to agitate, charm, amuse and excuse the reader all at the same pitch of experience'. This is one of V.S. Naipaul's greatest novels, hard but full of pity.

1970 - The Elected Member by Bernice Rubens

The Elected Member

The 1970 Booker Prize-winning novel. Norman is the clever one of a closely-knit Jewish family in London's East End. Infant prodigy, brilliant barrister, the apple of his parents' eyes - until at 41 he becomes a drug addict, confined to his bedroom, at the mercy of his hallucinations and paranoia.

1970 - Troubles by J.G. Farrell

Troubles

Major Brendan Archer travels to Ireland - to the Majestic Hotel and to the fiancee he acquired on a rash afternoon's leave three years ago. Despite her many letters, the lady herself proves elusive, and the Major's engagement is short-lived. But he is unable to detach himself from the alluring discomforts of the crumbling hotel. Ensconced in the dim and shabby splendour of the Palm Court, surrounded by gently decaying old ladies and proliferating cats, the Major passes the summer.So hypnotic are the faded charms of the Majestic, the Major is almost unaware of the gathering storm. But this is Ireland in 1919 - and the struggle for independence is about to explode with brutal force.

1969 - Something to Answer For by P. H. Newby

Something to Answer For

It was 1956 and he was in Port Said. About these two facts Townrow was reasonably certain. He had been summoned there, to Egypt, by the widow of his deceased friend, Elie Khoury. Having been found dead in the street, she is convinced he was murdered, but nobody seems to agree with her. What of Leah Strauss, the mistress?