12 Quite Interesting Facts About The Man Booker Prize
The Man Booker Prize for Fiction is in its 45th year. It was called the Booker Prize from 1969 to 2001. From 2002 the prize became the Man Booker Prize when the Man Group plc came on board as sponsor.
- 30 men and 15 women have won the prize.
- The Booker Prize initially awarded £5,000 to its winners. The prize money doubled in 1978 to £10,000, and today the winner receives £50,000.
- The shortest winning novel in the history of the prize was Offshore by Penelope Fitzgerald, at 132 pages, in 1979. Ian McEwan’s On Chesil Beach and Julian Barnes’ The Sense of an Ending were just slightly longer. In terms of length of eligible books, the rules of the prize simply state that the judges must be of the opinion that a book is a unified and substantial work.
- The ‘Man Booker Dozen’ was introduced in 2007 to limit the number of books allowed on the longlist to 12 or 13 each year.
- Ben Okri was the youngest winner in 1991 at the age of 32; Aravind Adiga was 33 when he won in 2008. Salman Rushdie was 34 when he won in 1981. Kiran Desai was the youngest woman to win the prize in 2006, aged 35.
- The prize has been split between joint winners on two occasions. Nadine Gordimer and Stanley Middleton shared the prize in 1974, whilst Michael Ondaatje and Barry Unsworth were joint winners in 1992
- Jonathan Cape is the publisher with the highest number of winning titles, with eight winners: The Sense of An Ending by Julian Barnes in 2011, The Gathering by Anne Enright in 2007, Amsterdam by Ian McEwan in 1998, The Famished Road by Ben Okri in 1991, Hotel du Lac by Anita Brookner in 1984, Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie in 1981, Saville by David Storey in 1976 and The Conservationist by Nadine Gordimer in 1974. Faber & Faber follows with six winning titles.
- One of the bestselling Booker winners is Schindler’s Ark by Thomas Keneally, which was adapted into the box office smash Schindler’s List. The film by Steven Spielberg won seven Academy Awards.
- Two authors have won the prize with their first and, so far, only novels: Keri Hulme, with The Bone People in 1985 and Arundhati Roy, with The God of Small Things in 1997.
- A number of Booker and Man Booker winning novels have been adapted into film. Some of the best-known are Kazuo Ishiguro’s 1989 novel Remains of the Day and Michael Ondaatje’s 1992 novel The English Patient. Other adaptations include: Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children, Yann Martel’s Life of Pi and A.S. Byatt’s Possession.
- Hilary Mantel is the first woman and the first British author to win the prize twice. JM Coetzee was the first person to win twice, in 1983 and again in 1999, when he described the Booker as ‘the ultimate prize to win in the English speaking world’. Peter Carey won first in 1988 and then in 2001. Mantel is the first person to win the prize for two novels in a trilogy.
- 2013 is the first time since the longlist started being released in 2001 that woman have outnumbered men on the list.
Follow this link to see a full List of Winners and Shortlisted Authors of the Booker Prize for Fiction