Friday, 18 July 2008


This week brings the news that Salman Rushdie has been awarded the Best of the Booker Prize for his novel Midnight’s Children. First published in 1981, it received the Booker Prize for that year, and was awarded the Booker of Bookers in 1993, when the award celebrated its 25th anniversary.
This latest prize - a once-off - was created to honour the best overall novel to have won the Man Booker Prize for fiction since it was first awarded in 1969. This means that Midnight's Children has won the only two celebratory prizes ever presented as an adjunct to the award itself.
The Best of the Booker shortlist was selected by a panel of three judges: biographer, novelist and critic Victoria Glendinning; writer and broadcaster Mariella Frostrup; and Professor of English at London's University College, John Mullan. The decision then went to a public poll.
When voting closed at midday on 8 July, over 7 800 people had voted for the six shortlisted titles, with 36% voting for Midnight's Children. Votes flooded in from across the world, with 37% of online votes coming from the UK, followed by 27% from North America.
Commenting on the award at the presentation ceremony in London, Victoria Glendinning said, "The readers have spoken - in their thousands. And we do believe that they have made the right choice."
Wait 'til you see what South African readers chose as their 'best of best'...

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