Julian Barnes Wins Man Booker Prize, Major Sales Boost Expected
The author took home the prize for the 150-page book "The Sense of an Ending."
Author Julian Barnes took home Britain's Man Booker Prize for fiction on Tuesday, Reuters reports, after being on the shortlist three previous times.
The 65-year-old writer was on the list in 1984 for Flaubert's Parrot, England, England in 1998 and in 2005 for Arthur and George. Barnes won for The Sense of an Ending, a 150-page book that was described as a novella by one reviewer.
During Barnes' acceptance speech, he referenced Jorge Luis Borges, an author who never won the Nobel Prize for literature.
"Borges, when asked, as he continually was, why he had never won the Nobel Prize, always used to reply that 'In Sweden there was a small cottage industry solely devoted to not giving Borges the Nobel Prize,' " he said, before adding later, "I wondered whether there wasn't perhaps some similar sister organization operating over here. So I am as much relieved as I am delighted to receive the 2011 Booker Prize."
The win is expected to boost book sales for Barnes, whose book centers on an ordinary man Tony who learns that his memories are not as reliable as he once thought.
Former British spy chief Stella Rimington, who oversaw the judges' panel this year, said of Barnes' book, "We thought that it was a book which, though short, was incredibly concentrated, and crammed into this very short space a great deal of information you don't get out of a first reading."
She added, "It's one of those these books, a very readable book, if I may use that word, but readable not only once but twice and even three times."
While Barnes' book may have been on the shorter side, it wasn't the shortest. Offshore, a 132-page book, by Penelope Fitzgerald holds that particular honor.
Barnes is also the author of Metroland and played himself in Bridget Jones's Diary.