I had to bring this up, since the The Booker Prize is my favourite literary award…to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the most prestigious literary prize in the English speaking world, a panel of judges have come up with a shortlist for the Best of the Booker – a prize that will be decided by the readers. There have actually been 41 winners since the award’s inception in 1969 owing to double winners in two years (1992 – Micael Ondaatje’s The English Patient and Barry Unsworth’s Sacred Hunger; and 1974 – Nadine Gordimer’s The Conservationist and Stanley Middleton’s Holiday), with the 2008 winner being decided in October. To vote, go to the website here and let them know which of the following six books was your favourite Booker Prize winner:
The Ghost Road by Pat Barker
Oscar and Lucinda by Peter Carey
Disgrace by JM Coetzee
The Siege of Krishnapur by J G Farrell
The Conservationist by Nadine Gordimer
Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie
Previously, Rushdie won the Booker of Bookers with Midnight’s Children to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Booker Prize.
The Chair of the committee, biographer, novelist and critic Victoria Glendinnig, said of the process and choices: It was a great experience, revisiting all the Booker and Man Booker Prize winners, and very tough arriving at the shortlist – but we really feel that the six novels we picked represent the best fiction-writing of the past 40 years and that each one of them will stand the test of time. As to which of the six is the most important, and the most enjoyable, the Best of Booker – that is up to the readers to decide.’
Voting is open from now until July 8. The winner will be announced on July 10, 2008.