Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Julian Barnes, 2011 Man Booker Prize Winner

Julian Barnes has won the Man Booker Prize for 2011 with his book A Sense of Ending. It won from a shortlist of six including: Esi Edugyan's Half Blood Blues, Carlol Birch's Jamrach's Menagerie, Stephen Kelman's Pigeon English, which had a Ghanaian character named Opoku, AD Miller's Snowdrops and Patrick deWitt for Brothers Sisters.

Though there had been several debates surrounding the shortlist with some describing it as a "dumbing down" and others establishing a new literature prize to rival The Man Booker for what in their view is the Booker's "now prioritises a notion of 'readability' over artistic achievement", readers and followers of the award unanimously agreed on the winner.

About Julian Barnes: Julian Barnes is the author of ten previous novels, three books of short stories and three collections of journalism. Now 65, his work has been translated into more than thirty languages. In France he is the only writer to have won both the Prix Médicis (for Flaubert's Parrot) and the Prix Femina (for Talking it Over). He was awarded the Austrian State Prize for European Literature in 2004 and the David Cohen Prize for Literature in 2011 for his lifetime achievement in literature. Julian Barnes has been shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize three times previously, for Arthur and George (2005), England, England (1998) and Flaubert's Parrot (1984). He lives in London

Read the full announcement here.

Better luck to Esi Edugyan who was keenly supported by ImageNations because of her Ghanaian roots and also because her book received great reviews. Besides, once a book has been shortlisted it can equally win.


  1. I haven't read any of the authors (or the books) in the shortlist, but from what I read on the web, everyone seems to agree that Julian Barnes deserves this year's prize.
    About the "readability" problem: I agree that in some ways the Man Booker Prize has become the tip about what to read next and a huge boost for the sales of said book. They seem to award the prize to what is likely to be appreciated by the average reader, but not all readers have good tastes and judgement of what good fiction is.

  2. @Stefania,I believe that if any other literary prize is to be set up, the rules should be clearly defined and applied. Else, there would be multiplicity of awards with no distinction among them.


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