Six hopefuls. One prize. Here's who won the Man Booker Prize last night. And £50,000...
Tuesday marked the hottest night in fiction. The Man Booker Prize 2015 crowned A Brief History of Seven Killings book of the year. The award, whch has been going since 1969, is a winning ticket in the literary world because it has the power to transform an author’s career overnight. Last year’s winning novel, The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan, has sold 300,000 copies in the UK and almost 800,000 worldwide. So it looks as though things will only be getting better for 44-year-old Marlon James.
Lets meet this year’s winner
In the Man Booker Prize’s 47-year history Marlon James is the first Jamaican author to win – that in itself is a great achievement for the writer of the brilliant story surrounding a fictional murder in Kingston – where James was born.
Chair of judges Michael Wood had this to say about the book:
‘It is a crime novel that moves beyond the world of crime and takes us deep into a recent history we know far too little about. It moves at a terrific pace and will come to be seen as a classic of our times’.
James not only won his £50,000 prize money and trophy, but a designer bound copy of his novel and £2,500 just for being shortlisted. The event was broadcasted live on the BBC News channel, where we watched The Duchess of Cornwall hand James his winnings at the prestigious black-tie dinner at London’s Guildhall.
Marlon James has had great success with his other novels including John Crow’s Devil, which was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the Commonwealth Writers Prize, and was a New York Times Editor’s Choice. James now resides in Minneapolis, USA, and is Associate Professor of English at Macalester College.
Marlon James – A Brief History of Seven Killings (Jamaica)
This year’s awards were chaired by Michael Wood, the judges included: Ellah Allfrey, John Burnside, Sam Leith and Frances Osborne.. Since July, it’s been theri task to whittle the list down from thirteen to one.
Michael Wood had earlier commented on this year’s shortlist:
‘Only on rare occasions does celebration come so closely aligned with regret. The regret of what we left out was tempered by the enormous excitement we have in presenting the six books on the shortlist…The writers on the shortlist present an extraordinary range of approaches to fiction. They come from very different cultures and are themselves at very different stages of their careers.’
They might not have won the prize, but take a look at the amazing reads that made this year’s shortlist.
A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara (US)
A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler (US)
Satin Island by Tom McCarthy (UK)
The Fishermen by Chigozie Obioma (Nigeria)
The Year of the Runaways by Sunjeev Sahota (UK)