The Finkler Question wins The 2010 Man Booker Prize for Fiction

12 October 2010

www.themanbookerprize.com

Howard Jacobson eventually triumphs with Man Booker Prize

Howard Jacobson is tonight (Tuesday 12 October) named the winner of the £50,000 Man Booker Prize for Fiction for The Finkler Question, published by Bloomsbury.

London author and columnist Howard Jacobson has been longlisted twice for the prize, in 2006 for Kalooki Nights and in 2002 for Who's Sorry Now, but has never before been shortlisted.

The Finkler Question is a novel about love, loss and male friendship, and explores what it means to be Jewish today.

Said to have 'some of the wittiest, most poignant and sharply intelligent comic prose in the English language', The Finkler Question has been described as 'wonderful' and 'richly satisfying' and as a novel of 'full of wit, warmth, intelligence, human feeling and understanding'.

This is the third Man Booker winner published by Bloomsbury. The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood won the prize in 2000 and The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje in 1992. The publisher has had six shortlisted books including Cats Eye (1989), Alias Grace (1996) and Oryx and Crake (2003) by Margaret Atwood, Lies of Silence (1990) by Brian Moore, Crossing the River (1993) by Carol Phillips and The Map of Love (1999) by Ahdaf Soueif.

Sir Andrew Motion, Chair of the judges, made the announcement, which was broadcast by the BBC from the awards dinner at London's Guildhall. Peter Clarke, Chief Executive of Man, presented Howard Jacobson with a cheque for £50,000.

Andrew Motion comments 'The Finkler Question is a marvellous book: very funny, of course, but also very clever, very sad and very subtle. It is all that it seems to be and much more than it seems to be. A completely worthy winner of this great prize.'

Over and above his prize of £50,000, Howard Jacobson can expect a huge increase in sales and recognition worldwide. Each of the six shortlisted authors, including the winner, receives £2,500 and a designer-bound edition of their book.

The judging panel for the 2010 Man Booker Prize for Fiction was: Andrew Motion (Chair), former Poet Laureate; Rosie Blau, Literary Editor of the Financial Times; Deborah Bull, formerly a dancer, now Creative Director of the Royal Opera House as well as a writer and broadcaster; Tom Sutcliffe, journalist, broadcaster and author and Frances Wilson, biographer and critic.

Sales of the books longlisted for the 2010 Man Booker Prize have been stronger than ever before, with sales over 45% higher than last year.

The Winner

The Finkler Question by Howard Jacobson

Published by Bloomsbury, at £18.99

Funny, furious and unflinching, The Finkler Question is a scorching story of friendship and loss, exclusion and belonging, and of the wisdom and humanity of maturity.

Julian Treslove, a professionally unspectacular former BBC radio producer, and Sam Finkler, a popular Jewish philosopher, writer and television personality, are old school friends. Despite a prickly relationship, they've never quite lost touch with each other – or with their former teacher, Libor Sevick. Both Libor and Sam are recently widowed, and with Treslove, his chequered and unsuccessful record with women rendering him an honorary third widower, they dine at Libor's apartment. It's a sweetly painful evening of reminiscence in which all three remove themselves to a time before they had loved and lost; a time before they had fathered children, before the devastation of separations, before they had prized anything greatly enough to fear the loss of it.

An award-winning novelist and critic, Howard Jacobson was born in Manchester on 25 August 1942 and read English at Cambridge under F.R. Leavis. He taught at the University of Sydney, Selwyn College, Cambridge and Wolverhampton Polytechnic – the inspiration for his first novel, Coming From Behind. He has been longlisted twice for the Man Booker Prize for Kalooki Nights in 2006 and Who's Sorry Now? in 2002. Other novels include The Mighty Walzer and The Act of Love. Howard Jacobson writes a weekly column for the Independent and has written and presented several documentaries for television. He lives in London.

For further information please contact Anya Rosenberg at Bloomsbury Tel: 020 7494 6008, email: anya.rosenberg@bloomsbury.com, mob: 07540 838 369

 

Notes to Editors:

  • Howard Jacobson is available for interview. Please contact Anya Rosenberg at Bloomsbury on tel: 020 7494 6008, email: anya.rosenberg@bloomsbury.com, mob: 07540 838 369
  • The winner of the Man Booker Prize was chosen from 138 entries, including 14 called in by the judges. The 2010 shortlisted titles were:
    Author Title Publisher
    Peter Carey Parrot and Olivier in America Faber and Faber
    Emma Donoghue Room Picador – Pan Macmillan
    Damon Galgut In a Strange Room Atlantic Books – Grove Atlantic
    Howard Jacobson The Finkler Question Bloomsbury
    Andrea Levy The Long Song Headline Review – Headline Publishing Group -
    Tom McCarthy C Jonathan Cape – Random House
  • For the 2010 Man Booker Prize, UK publishers were eligible to submit two full-length novels published between 1 October 2009 and 30 September 2010. In addition any title by an author who has previously won the Booker or Man Booker Prize may be submitted. Any book by an author who has been shortlisted within the last ten years is also entitled to automatic entry.
  • The Booker Prize for Fiction was first awarded in 1969, and Man was announced as the sponsor of the prize in April 2002, with a five year extension agreed in 2006. For a full history of the prize including previous winners, shortlisted authors and judges visit the website: www.themanbookerprize.com. It is a major media and information tool which is accessed worldwide with up to the minute information about both the annual Man Booker Prize and the biennial Man Booker International Prize. Featuring news, interviews and written pieces as well as a lively forum and full history archive of the prize, the site is used by journalists, bloggers and general members of the public on a daily basis.
  • Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel (Fourth Estate) won the Man Booker Prize 2009. It has now sold over half a million copies in the UK alone. Rights have been sold in 37 countries world-wide.
  • The Man Booker Prize App is free to download from the App Store to an Apple iPhone or iPod Touch and is the UK's first app for a literary prize. Free audio extracts of all 13 of the longlisted titles can now be downloaded to mobile phones via GoSpoken www.gospoken.com
  • The Man Booker Prize is sponsored by Man. Man is a world-leading alternative investment management business. With a broad range of funds for institutional and private investors globally, it is known for its performance, innovative product design and investor service. Man manages around $39.5 billion.
    The original business was founded in 1783. Today, Man is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a member of the FTSE 100 Index with a market capitalisation of around £4 billion.
    Man is a member of the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index and the FTSE4Good Index. Man also supports many awards, charities and initiatives around the world, including sponsorship of the Man Booker literary prizes.
    Man supports many awards, charities and initiatives around the world, including sponsorship of the Man Booker literary prizes. In the year to March 2010 the Man Charitable Trust continued to fund innovative projects for children and adults that improve literacy. Donations were made to support the "Every Child a Reader" reading recovery programme, Dyslexia Action, The Mayor's Fund for London, National Literacy Trust and St Petrock's (Exeter). The Trust also supports the RNIB Talking Books Service, enabling the production and distribution of Talking Book formats of the shortlisted titles of the Man Booker Prize
    Further information can be found at www.mangroupplc.com
  • The Booker Prize Foundation is a registered charity (no 1090049) which, since 2002, has been responsible for the award of the prize. The trustees of the Booker Prize Foundation are former Chairman of Booker plc, Jonathan Taylor CBE (Chair); Lord Baker of Dorking CH; playwright and President of the Royal Literary Fund, Sir Ronald Harwood CBE; former Chair of the British Council, Baroness Kennedy QC; broadcaster, James Naughtie; biographer, Victoria Glendinning; writer, Baroness Neuberger DBE and former Finance Director of Rentokil plc, Christopher Pearce. Martyn Goff CBE, former Man Booker Prize administrator, is President of the Foundation and Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne is a Vice President.
  • The Advisory Committee, which advises on any changes to the rules and on the selection of the judges, represents all sides of the book world. Its members are: Ion Trewin, Chair (Literary Director, Man Booker Prizes); Richard Cable, publisher; Mark Chilton, Company Secretary, Booker Ltd; Peter Clarke, Chief Executive, Man, Jonathan Douglas, Director of the National Literacy Trust; Maggie Fergusson, writer and Secretary of the Royal Society of Literature; Basil Comely, BBC TV; Derek Johns, literary agent; Peter Kemp, Chief Fiction Reviewer, The Sunday Times; Dominic Myers, Managing Director of Waterstone's; Nigel Newton, publisher; Fiammetta Rocco, literary editor, The Economist (Man Booker International Prize administrator); Eve Smith (Company Secretary, the Booker Prize Foundation); and Robert Topping; Topping & Company Booksellers.
  • Booker is the UK's leading food wholesaler with over 170 branches nationwide. It serves over 350,000 independent businesses.
  • The Booker Prize Archive was given on loan in 2003 to Oxford Brookes University where it now resides.
  • Blind and partially sighted people can now read any of the books shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize on the day the winner is announced. The production of the books in braille and giant print is funded by the Booker Prize Foundation, and the Man Group PLC Charitable Trust pays separately for the production of Talking Books.
  • The Foundation is also working with the Sound Archive of the British Library on its 'National Life Stories - Authors' Lives' project by funding archive interviews with shortlisted authors.

For all press enquiries please contact:
Jill Cotton or Lucy Chavasse at Colman Getty
Tel: 020 7631 2666
E-mail: jill@colmangetty.co.uk or lucy@colmangetty.co.uk
Out of hours contact:
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Lucy Chavasse 07876 528 902

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