LONDON, 10 October 2005John Banville was tonight named the winner of the £50,000 (about
$89,000) Man Booker Prize for Fiction with The Sea
, published by Picador.
The Irish-born writer was shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 1989 for
his novel, The Book of Evidence, but lost out to Ishiguros
The Remains of the Day. This year, however, the tables have
turned with The Sea winning over Ishiguros shortlisted Never Let Me
A former literary editor of The Irish Times, John Banville is
an experienced author, seen as this years literary editors choice. He is
the first Irish author to win in over a decade, since Roddy Doyle won with
Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha in 1993. The judging panel of the Man
Booker Prize honoured the writer because his winning novel, The
Sea, is "a masterly study of grief, memory and love
This is the second consecutive win for Picador who published last
years winner, Alan Hollinghursts The Line of Beauty.
Julian Barnes, Sebastian Barry, Kazuo Ishiguro, Ali Smith and Zadie
Smith were the five other authors shortlisted for the 2005 Man Booker
Prize for Fiction, the UKs best known literary award and the book
industry's biggest event. Notably missing from the short list were Salman
Rushdie, and Nobel laureate J.M. Coetzee.
Each of the six shortlisted authors, including the winner, receives
£2,500 and a designer bound edition of their own book.
The six works shortlisted for the award were:
The Sea by John Banville
Led back to Ballyless by a dream, Max Morden is both escaping from a
recent loss and confronting a distant trauma in the coastal town where he
spent a holiday in his youth.
Arthur & George by Julian Barnes
Arthur and George grow up worlds apart in late nineteenth-century
Britain: Arthur in shabby-genteel Edinburgh, George in the vicarage of a
small Staffordshire village. Arthur becomes a doctor, and then a writer;
George a solicitor in Birmingham. Arthur is to become one of the most
famous men of his age, George remains in hardworking obscurity. But as the
new century begins, they are brought together by a sequence of events that
made sensational headlines at the time as The Great Wyrley Outrages.
A Long Long Way by Sebastian Barry
Barely eighteen years old, Willie Dunne leaves Dublin in 1914 to fight
for the Allied cause, largely unaware of the growing political and
religious tensions festering back home.
A Long Long Way
evokes the camaraderie of Willies regiment, the Royal Dublin Fusiliers, but
also the cruelty and sadness of war, and the divided loyalties that tore
at many Irish soldiers. .
Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
Kathy, Ruth and Tommy were pupils at Hailsham an idyllic
establishment situated deep in the English countryside. The children were
sheltered entirely from the outside world and brought up to believe they
were special. But why were they really there?
Now thirty-one, Kathy looks back on the past and narrates the haunting
story of how she and her two friends slowly came to confront the truth
about their seemingly happy childhoods and about their futures.
The Accidental by Ali Smith
14 year old Astrid is spending the summer with her family
in a substandard holiday home in a substandard town in Norfolk. ,
Magnus, Astrid's older brother, has been pulled out of the upper-sixth
early. He used to be form-captain, sickeningly excited about things
like calculus, and how plants grow. Now he lies face down on the
floor in his room like a beached whale. What happened? One
month ago he and two friends took a picture of a lower-sixth girls head,
fixed it onto another body, and sent it round everyones email, then she
Dr Michael Smart lectures in English Literature at a London
university. Though spending the summer in Norfolk, hes popping down
to London, marking work, checking exam results etc, and secretly meeting
his current special pupil, the alarmingly ambitious Philippa Knott.
Eve chose the
Norfolk holiday home for its elegant summerhouse with internet connection point where she can
get on with researching and writing her next book.
Amber just arrived one day. Eve assumed she was Michaels
student, Michael thought she knew Eve. Magnus thought she was an
angel, sent to save him. Astrid thought that if Amber were a cartoon
character, she would have been a superheroine, but also that she is
definitely insane. And then Amber just didnt leave
On Beauty by Zadie Smith
Professor Howard Belsey has done something stupid. And what is more it
is the stupid something which men his age seem programmed by cliché to act
out. Exiled in his own home by the hurt and anger of his wife, Kiki, and
the disapproval of his three kids, Jerome, Zora and Levi, Howard is about
to see his role in the family further undermined by the arrival in their
East Coast college town of Wellington, Mass, of his nemesis, British
academic Monty Kipps.
Between the families of Belsey and Kipps there is
a gulf political, ideological, social and artistic and that is the way
Howard would like to keep it. But male lust and female friendship are
powerful things, and the children and wives of Belsey and Kipps seem drawn
to each other in spite of paternal rancour.