The Man Booker Prize and 2015 winner of the Man Booker International Prize

The Booker Prize, traditionally awarded for the best original novel written in English and published in the UK, is undisputedly one the most important fictional literary gongs going. As Wikipedia informs us, it 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”.

Since 2005, there has also been a separate annual award bestowed for the Man Booker International Prize, which considers a writer’s body of work rather than a single novel, and this year’s incumbent was named just today.

Ten finalists were nominated : César Aira from Argentina, Hoda Barakat from Lebanon, Maryse Condé from Guadeloupe, Mia Couto from Mozambique, Amitav Ghosh from India, Fanny Howe from the USA, Ibrahim al-Koni from Libya, Laszlo Krasznahorkai from Hungary, Alain Mabanckou from the Republic of Congo and Marlene van Niekerk from South Africa.

Thanks to D and J for the heads-up, for hot off the press, just announced this evening, the Bafta – sorry, Booker – goes to: Hungarian author Laszlo Krasznahorkai, who has won a host of prizes since penning his first novel “Satanango” in 1985 – which was apparently transformed into a film, and into beautiful award-winning translated English. The Guardian, as always, are straight onto it, so you can read more about this visionary author in their freshly pressed article and will add his first novel to my Wish List, Kafka move over. Anyone capable of pronouncing this surname with confidence also eligible for a prize…

Returning to the Man Booker Prize ‘proper’, we have a little wait to learn which authors are in the running for 2015, as this year’s longlist is not announced until the end of July, with those making it to the shortlist getting their speeches planned mid September, and the fan faring ceremony taking place in October. 

To keep us going and those anticipatory levels stoked up, here’s a summary of previous winners in the meantime and “fiction at its finest” :

Man Booker 2014 Winner :   

“The Narrow Road to the Deep North” by Richard Flanagan – now read, 9/10

2014 Shortlist :

“To Rise again at a Decent Hour” by Joshua Ferris – to read

We are All Completely Beside Ourselves” by Karen Joy Fowler – read, 10/10

“J” by Howard Jacobson – to read

“The Lives of Others” by Neel Mukherjee – to read

How To Be Both” by Ali Smith – read, 10/10.

Man Booker previous wins – 2013-2000 :

2013 – “The Luminaries” by Eleanor Catton – to read

2012 – “Bring up the Bodies” by Hilary Mantel – read, 7/10

2011 – “The Sense of an Ending” by Julian Barnes – read, 10/10 – A FAVOURITE BOOK

2010 – “The Finkler Question” by Howard Jacobson – to read

2009 – “Wolf Hall” by Hilary Mantel – read, 7/10

2008 – “The White Tiger” by Aravind Adiga – read, 6/10

2007 – “The Gathering” by Anne Enright – read, 6/10

2006 – “The Inheritance of Loss” by Anita Desai – to read

2005 – “The Sea” by John Banville – to read

2004 – “The Line of Beauty” by Alan Hollinghurst – read, 7/10 (loved “The Stranger’s Child“, 10/10)

2003 – “Vernon God Little” by D.B.C. Pierre – to read

2002 – “Life of Pi” by Yann Martel – read, 10/10

2001 – “True History of the Kelly Gang” by Peter Carey – to read (also own three others including “Oscar and Lucinda” which won the Booker in 1988, but somewhat scared off by having read and really not liked “Parrot and Olivier in America”, heresy! off with her head!, 5/10)

2000 – “The Blind Assassin” by Margaret Atwood – to read (absolutely adored “The Handmaid’s Tale”, 10/10 and “Alias Grace”, 10/10).


Man Booker previous wins – 2000-1980 :

1999 – “Disgrace” by J.M. Coetzee – to read

1998 – “Amsterdam” by Ian McEwan – read, 8/10

1997 – “The God of Small Things” by Arundhati Roy – read, 8/10

1996 – “Last Orders” by Graham Swift – read, 6/10

1995 – “The Ghost Road” by Pat Barker – read, 7/10

1994 – “How Late it Was, How Late” by James Kelman – to read

1993 – “Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha” by Roddy Doyle – to read

1992 –  Joint winners : “The English Patient” by Michael Ondaatje – read, 5/10, although of course could not have loved the film more and am sure is me who is to be found sadly lacking here  +  “Sacred Hunger” by Barry Unsworth – to read

1991 – “The Famished Road” by Ben Okri – to read

1990 – “Possession” by A.S. Byatt – to read

1989 – “The Remains of the Day” by Kazuo Ishiguro – read, 10/10, A FAVOURITE READ

1988 – “Oscar and Lucinda” by Peter Carey – to read

1987 – “Moon Tiger” by Penelope Lively – to read

1986 – “The Old Devils” by Kingsley Amis – to read

1985 – “The Bone People” by Keri Hulme – read, 10/10

1984 – “Hotel du Lac” by Anita Brookner – to read

1983 – “Life and Times of Michael K” by J.M. Coetzee – to read

1982 – “Schindler’s Ark” by Thomas Keneally – shame on me, seen film but still to read

1981 – “Midnight’s Children” by Salman Rushdie – to read

1980 – “Rites of Passage” by William Golding – to read.

The list does go on, for the Man Booker was initiated back in 1969, but I fear I will well and truly be in my dotage if I go any further right now, would be just too dispiriting – will save adding to the list until that far off day when all of these are in the “Aha, Have Read” pile…and will gamely attempt to crack on with this little lot.

Images taken from here and here and here and here and here.
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13 Responses to The Man Booker Prize and 2015 winner of the Man Booker International Prize

  1. tomthesnail says:

    Completely behind your rating on “We are all completely beside ourselves” what a book! Fortunately I read it cold with no plot spoilers but would willingly re-read it. I will just say that it reminded me of studies that we looked at 30 years ago at Uni. TTS 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear TomTheSnail, thanks for not adding any spoilers! but fascinating to think you were studying this whole area. My son is just finishing his first year of Genetics in the UK, and would imagine this will come up at some stage. Did you see KJF’s comments on her website? (link to it on my earlier review at the end of March) – sounds like a pretty unusual upbringing… Let me know if you have any Genetics-linked reads I could recommend to the 18 year old. Nicolax

      Liked by 1 person

      • tomthesnail says:

        Best idea that comes to mind is the “The Immortal life of Henrietta Lacks”, certainly gives some historical context and reminds the scientist of the person behind the genetics.

        Some of the big names like Watson, Crick and others may have written autobiographies? Might seem a bit pre-historic to an 18 yr old :@ There has just been the 2 part “Code of a Killer” on TV here which was as much about the scientist who 1st used DNA to solve a murder in the UK as it was about the case – I’ll try and look up his name.

        There is perhaps more out there being written about medicine like Henry Marsh and Atul Gwande. TTS

        Liked by 1 person

      • tomthesnail says:

        Alec Jeffreys is the name of the geneticist 😀 TTS

        Liked by 1 person

  2. TimPa59 says:

    So… ‘The Sense of an Ending’ is a favourite! My memory must be awry as must be my critical faculty! I’ve started ‘Revolutionary Road’… going well… Mr P

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Nothing awry at all in my book, Mr TimPa59!!
    I actually sat to review TSOAE last night over a late night cup of tea and it really did appeal to me, but it would appear more and more that these slightly pessimistic, not much action and a lot of contemplating the navel novels are often the ones I like the best (what does that says about me?!). I just really like the unfurling of normal lives and reflections on human actions.
    Having said that, looking at the Man Booker winners that I have read, have given quite a few fairly low ratings. Haven’t read enough winners to know if there’s a pattern there?? Let me know how “Revolutionary Road” goes, intrigued to have your opinion post read. Au revoir, à la prochaine. Nicolax

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: “The Sense of an Ending” by Julian Barnes (2011 ) – book review | Literary ramblings etc

  5. susan says:

    For starters, how do you pronounce his name?
    [ˈlaːsloː krαsnαhorkα.i] That’s in phonetic English – for other languages, the author himself has provided some help.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Susan, had you heard of him before? Felt hopelessly unread casting my eye over the shortlist of named writers for the International prize, hopelessly so… Did in fact order a copy of the “Satanango” posthaste, but the bookseller came back to say it was no longer available, so may try again in a while and for now is on the Wish List. Nxx


  7. susan says:

    I had heard of him, Nicola, (the name pronunciation was a quote from a guardian article by the way) but I have not read him. I also tried to order that book and could not! It sounds like an intriguing and satisfying sort of read and I do like Hungarian writers in general. I really really love Sandor Marai for instance, ‘Embers’ is just wonderful. I only vaguely recognised one name on the International list! and when it comes to the Booker, it is a very ‘nod in agreement/shout at the telly’ sort of prize for me! I often read the winners, and high lights from the lists are many. ‘Time’s Arrow’ still haunts, and as you know ‘The Luminaries’ and ‘Wolf Hall’ are firm best reads for me. Whereas ‘The Sea’ left me wondering and I like Banville. The list could go on but we are off out to the petrified forest on the beach at low tide in Winchelsea! xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Susan, how glorious to be off to the beach. And how funny that we both had difficulties getting hold of a copy of the book. I too really really loved “Embers” – it was a read in French for the Boy a couple of years ago so I read it then too – fantastic discovery. “Time’s Arrow” looks challenging. And the only Banville have read so far is the latest one, “Ancient Light”, and I really didn’t like it very much at all but have others sitting waiting to be picked up. Enjoy the fresh air down on the coast, à bientôt, xx


  9. susan says:


    Liked by 1 person

  10. Pingback: The Man Booker Prize 2015 Longlist has been announced! | Literary ramblings etc

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