44 Booker Prizes in Brief

44 Booker Prize winners described in 25 words (each) — could anything be more bloggable?

At the B&N Review, Harold Augenbraum, Executive Director of the National Book Foundation, offers up brief summaries of every winner in the Booker/Man Booker Prize’s history. Augenbraum’s summaries are pithy and smart — again instant blog fodder.

Here are some highlights:

1969 — Something to Answer For by P. H. Newby — Who? Shockingly good. Graham Greene crossed with Steve Erickson: Personal and political melt into a man without memory. Appropriate that the Booker was a newbie.

1989 — The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro — I have read three perfect novels in my life, and this is one of them. The British class system as realism, symbolism, and metaphor. Brilliant.

2002 — Life of Pi by Yann Martell — The fable that made the Booker fabulous, mingling Robinson Crusoe, Steinbeck’s story “Lifeboat,” Animal Planet, and Khalil Gibran. Don’t believe the overhype: It reads good.

2005 — The Sea by John Banville — Another Booker about old men and the sea (see Murdoch, 1978). Few novelists write more beautiful prose than Banville…and most of them are dead.

You can see the rest of the list here.

— Benjamin Samuel is the Online Editor of Electric Literature. That’s just about all you need to know.


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