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The 2010 Man Booker Prize Announced

October 13, 2010

This morning, New Zealand time, the Man Booker prize for 2010 was announced in London.

Man Booker Prize: Howard Jacobson is surprise winner [Telegraph] By Anita Singh, Arts Correspondent

The Man Booker Prize judges chose writer and broadcaster Howard Jacobson as their surprise winner last night, the oldest author to take the prize in 30 years.

Jacobson was the rank outsider for the £50,000 prize but his tragi-comic novel, The Finkler Question, triumphed over favourites Tom McCarthy and Emma Donoghue. It is his 11th novel and comes at the age of 68, making him the oldest winner since William Golding in 1980.

It has been a long road to literary glory – a teacher at his Manchester primary school identified him as a future novelist aged just seven, but Jacobson became a lecturer at Wolverhampton Polytechnic and was 40 before he published his first book.

Although longlisted twice before – for Kalooki Nights in 2006 and Who’s Sorry Now? in 2002 – he was not shortlisted until this year.

Sir Andrew Motion, chairman of the judges, said: “There is a particular pleasure in seeing somebody who is this good finally getting his just desserts.”

The book follows the misadventures of Julian Treslove, a failed BBC producer who is fiercely jealous of his successful old schoolfriend, Sam Finkler, and yearns to be Jewish like him. It is the first comic novel in the 42-year history of the prize, but also a meditation on identity, friendship and loss.

“It’s either a very funny book with very sad bits in it, or a very sad book with very funny bits in it,” Sir Andrew said. “It is a book about Jewishness but it is so much more than that. It is brilliant on male friendship in particular, very clever about how sometimes we don’t like our friends. It is a profound, wise book and a very entertaining one.”

Continue reading here.

 

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