10 July 08 | Chad W. Post

Despite Sara Kramer’s most passionate campaigning for J.G. Farrell’s Siege of Krishnapur, Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children once again has received the “Booker of Bookers”:

For the second time, Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie has been judged the best ever winner of the Booker prize. The Best of Booker award, which has been announced at the London literature festival this afternoon, marks the prize’s 40th anniversary. A similar contest – the Booker of Bookers – was held in 1993 to coincide with its 25th birthday, and came to the same conclusion. [. . .]

Midnight’s Children is a teeming fable of postcolonial India, told in magical-realist fashion by a telepathic hero born at the stroke of midnight on the day the country became independent. First published in 1981, it was met with little immediate excitement. It was an unexpected winner, but went on to garner critical and popular acclaim around the world. The novel’s popularity, very unusually for a literary award, is what has secured the prize, having been picked from the shortlist by an online public vote that drew just over 7,800 votes. The shortlist itself was selected by a panel of judges – the biographer, novelist and critic Victoria Glendinning; writer and broadcaster Mariella Frostrup, and John Mullan, professor of English at University College London. (Via The Guardian)

In case you’re wondering, here’s the short list;

The Ghost Road by Pat Barker (1995)
Oscar and Lucinda by Peter Carey (1988)
Disgrace JM Coetzee (1999)
The Conservationist by Nadine Gordimer (1974)
The Siege of Krishnapur by JG Farrell (1973)
Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie (1981)


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