The English Patient,
the wartime love story by Michael Ondaatje, won the Golden Man Booker Prize on Sunday night.
The one-off award, voted for by the public, commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Man Booker prize. The shortlist of five novels was selected by a panel of judges from the 51 previous winners of the Man Booker, which honours the best novels written in English and published in Britain or Ireland.
The English Patient
is a compelling work of fiction — both poetic and philosophical,” Baroness Helena Kennedy, chair of the Booker Prize Foundation, said in a statement. “As we celebrate the prize’s 50th anniversary, it’s a testament to the impact and legacy of the Man Booker Prize that all of the winning books are still in print.”
Born in 1943 in Sri Lanka when it was known as Ceylon, Ondaatje now lives in Canada. “The English Patient,” which follows the lives of four characters brought together during World War II, told through the morphine-affected memories of a severely burned patient, was a Booker Prize winner in 1992.
The film adaptation starring Kristin Scott Thomas and Ralph Fiennes won nine Academy Awards in 1997, including best picture.
Each of the judges for the Golden Man Booker Prize was allocated a decade from the prize’s history and tasked with selecting the best work from it. The public then voted on the shortlist. AP
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