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The Booker Prize

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Booker
Bad Sex Award
Pulitzers
National Book Awards
Other

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Literary Awards

The Booker Prize

The Booker Group plc is the UK's largest food wholesaler. Originally founded in 1835, it was known in 1968 (when the prize was founded) as Booker–McConnell Ltd. John 'Jock' Campbell, who was its Chairman from 1952 to 1967, had founded an Author Division within the company, after purchasing 51 per cent of Glidrose Ltd, which owned the copyrights of his friend Ian Fleming. The Division later bought up the rights to the works of other well–known authors, including Denis Wheatley, and a 64% stake in those of Agatha Christie. Administration of the prize was transferred to an independent foundation in 2002, and since then it has been sponsored by the Man Group plc, an investment management company, who opted to retain the well–known Booker name. The prize is now officially known as the Man Booker Prize for Fiction.

Eligibility was originally limited to authors from the Commonwealth, Ireland, and Click to show or hide the answer

(Zimbabwe was known from 1964 to 1979 as Rhodesia – previously Southern Rhodesia – and briefly in 1979 as Zimbabwe Rhodesia.)

First awarded (as the Booker–McConnell Prize) Click to show or hide the answer
First winner Title Click to show or hide the answer
Author Click to show or hide the answer
Name changed to the Man Booker Prize for Fiction Click to show or hide the answer
Eligibility changed to any novel written in English Click to show or hide the answer

'Booker of Bookers' (2008)

The 'Best of the Booker' prize – commonly known as the Booker of Bookers – was awarded in 2008 to celebrate the prize's 40th anniversary. The winner was chosen by public vote from a shortlist of six. The other five shortlisted titles were the winners from 1973, 1974 (The Conservationist), 1988, 1995 and 1999.

Title Click to show or hide the answer
Author Click to show or hide the answer
Year of publication Click to show or hide the answer

'The Lost Man Booker Prize' (2010)

In the first two years of the Booker Prize – 1969 and 1970 – it was books published in the previous year that were eligible; from 1971 it was books published in the year of the award. This meant that books published in 1970 had never been eligible for a Booker prize. The Lost Booker Prize was awarded in 2010 to correct this anomaly. As with the Booker of Bookers, the winner was chosen by public vote from a shortlist of six.

Title Click to show or hide the answer
Author Click to show or hide the answer

Multiple winners

First person to win twice (South African – 1983 and 1999) Click to show or hide the answer
Second person to win twice (Australian – 1988 and 2001) Click to show or hide the answer
First woman, and the first British author, to win twice (2009, 2012) Click to show or hide the answer

Note that (as seen above) J. G. Farrell won the so–called 'Lost Booker' prize in 2010, for Troubles, which was judged to be the best qualifying novel written in 1970, and he also won the annual prize in 1973 for The Siege of Krishnapur.

All winners

Year Title   Author Nationality
2017 Lincoln in the Bardo M Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer
2016 The Sellout M Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer
2015 A Brief History of Seven Killings M Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer
2014 The Narrow Road to the Deep North M Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer
2013 The Luminaries F Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer
2012 Bring Up the Bodies F Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer
2011 The Sense of an Ending M Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer
2010 The Finkler Question M Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer
2009 Wolf Hall F Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer
2008 The White Tiger M Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer
2007 The Gathering F Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer
2006 The Inheritance of Loss F Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer
2005 The Sea M Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer
2004 The Line of Beauty M Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer
2003 Vernon God Little M Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer
2002 Life of Pi M Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer
2001 True History of the Kelly Gang M Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer
2000 The Blind Assassin F Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer
1999 Disgrace M Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer
1998 Amsterdam M Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer
1997 The God of Small Things F Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer
1996 Last Orders M Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer
1995 The Ghost Road F Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer
1994 How Late it was, How Late M Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer
1993 Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha M Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer
1992 Sacred Hunger M Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer
The English Patient M Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer
1991 The Famished Road M Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer
1990 Possession F Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer
1989 The Remains of the Day M Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer

Kazuo Ishiguro was born in Japan, but his family moved to England when he was six years old.

1988 Oscar and Lucinda M Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer
1987 Moon Tiger F Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer

Penelope Lively was born in Egypt of English parents. She attended school in England from the age of 12, and married an English academic (Jack Lively) in 1957 (when she was 24).

1986 The Old Devils M Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer
1985 The Bone People F Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer
1984 Hotel du Lac F Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer
1983 Life & Times of Michael K M Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer
1982 Schindler's Ark M Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer
1981 Midnight's Children M Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer
1980 Rites of Passage M Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer
1979 Offshore F Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer
1978 The Sea, the Sea F Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer

Iris Murdoch was born in Dublin, but her family moved to London when she was a few weeks old.

1977 Staying On M Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer
1976 Saville M Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer
1975 Heat and Dust F Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer

Ruth Prawer was born in Cologne in 1927. Her parents were German Jews, and the family moved to London in 1939. Ruth met an Indian architect (Cyrus S. H. Jhabvala) at university in London, and in 1951 she followed him to Delhi where they married. Heat and Dust is said to have been written in a wave of revulsion for everything Indian. In 1976 she moved to New York, following a severe asthma attack brought on by the pollution in Delhi. Her husband only joined her a decade later. She became close friends with Ismail Merchant and James Ivory, writing screenplays for many of their films; she won Oscars for A Room with a View (1986) and Howard's End (1992).

1974 The Conservationist F Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer
Holiday M Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer
1973 The Siege of Krishnapur M Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer

James Gordon Farrell was born in Liverpool in 1935, to an Anglo–Irish family. They moved to Dublin shortly after the end of World War II, and James subsequently lived in France, Canada and London. In 1975 he went to live on the Sheep's Head peninsula, on the coast of County Cork; a few months later he fell into the sea while fishing from rocks, and drowned (in Bantry Bay).

1972 G M Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer
1971 In a Free State M Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer
1970 The Elected Member F Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer
1969 Something to Answer For M Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer

Bad Sex Award

The Literary Review is a British magazine, founded in 1979 by Anne Smith, then head of the Department of English at Edinburgh University. It was edited from 1986 until his death in 2001 by the veteran journalist Auberon Waugh – son of the novelist Evelyn Waugh, and a veteran of The Daily Telegraph and Private Eye.

What The Literary Review is most famous for (in quizzing circles, certainly, but also on Wikipedia) is its annual Bad Sex Award – introduced by Waugh in 1993, to highlight "poorly written, perfunctory or redundant passages of sexual description in modern fiction".

Selected winners:

First winner (1993), for A Time to Dance (British media giant, made a life peer in 1998) Click to show or hide the answer
1998: Charlotte Gray (best–selling British novelist, and a team captain on BBC Radio 4's literary quiz The Write Stuff) Click to show or hide the answer
1999: Starcrossed (controversial British journalist and critic) Click to show or hide the answer
2004: I Am Charlotte Simmons (author most famous for The Bonfire of the Vanities) Click to show or hide the answer
2005: Winkler (member of a famous English media dynasty) Click to show or hide the answer
2007: The Castle in the Forest (double Pulitzer winner, for The Executioner's Song and The Armies of the Night; also wrote The Naked and the Dead; unfortunately died 16 days before being announced as the winner – the judges were quoted as saying "We were sure he would have taken the prize in good humour") Click to show or hide the answer
2008: Lifetime Achievement Award (author of the acclaimed Rabbit series) Click to show or hide the answer
2014: The Age of Magic (1991 Booker winner with The Famished Road) Click to show or hide the answer
2015: List of the Lost ("1980s pop singer") Click to show or hide the answer

Pulitzer Prizes

Ivy League university that administers the Pulitzer Prize (after newspaper publisher Joseph Pulitzer left money to it in his will for the purpose) Click to show or hide the answer

1918: the source for Orson Welles's second film (after Citizen Kane) Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer
1939 novel: John Ford won the Best Director Oscar for the 1940 film version, which starred Henry Fonda Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer
1951: filmed in 1954, starring Humphrey Bogart as Captain Queeg Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer
1957: short biographies of eight US senators who defied the opinions of their party and voters to do what they felt was right Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer
1984 play: adapted by the playwright in 1994 for a film, which starred Jack Lemmon, Al Pacino, Ed Harris, Alan Arkin as four real estate agents (1992) Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer
1985 novel: a fictionalised account of a real–life (1868) cattle drive by Charles Goodnight and Oliver Loving: made into a hugely successful and highly acclaimed 1989 TV miniseries, starring Robert Duvall and Tommy Lee Jones as former Texas Rangers Augustus 'Gus' McCrae and Woodrow F. Call Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer
1996 memoir, which spawned two sequels: Alan Parker's 1999 film version starred Emily Watson and Robert Carlyle Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer
1998: a novel by one of America's most respected authors; Ewan McGregor made his directorial debut with the film version, released in 2016 Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer

National Book Awards

The US National Book Awards were established in 1936, abandoned during World War II, and re–established in 1950. The UK versions were inaugurated in 1990. They are awarded by the UK publishing industry. There are several awards, including Outstanding Achievment (previously known as Lifetime Achievement) and Author of the Year; and there are awards for the Book of the Year in the following categories: Children's Books, New Writer, Biography, Popular Fiction, Popular Non–Fiction, Audiobook, Thriller & Crime, Food & Drink, and Paperback. Other categories have come and gone, including Richard & Judy's Best Read, Illustrated Book, TV and Film Book, History Book, Sports Book, Travel Writer, Fantasy and Science Fiction Author, and Bestseller.

Since 1994, the winners in each category have gone forward as candidates for Book of the Year. Since 2010 this has been chosen by the public in an open Internet vote.

The awards were sponsored by Galaxy (the Mars chocolate brand) in 2010 and 2011, and by Specsavers from 2012 to 2014. There were no awards in 2015, and in 2016 they were rebranded as the British Book Industry Awards.

A cynic might suggest that these awards are simply a bunfight for the publishing industry, celebrating the authors that have made them the most money over the year. But they also provide an excellent snapshot of Britain's favourite reading matter over the years – and that makes them a useful benchmark for the quizzer.

Here then are the winners of the Book of the Year award, in all its various guises:

2016: an "eerie, suspenseful debut novel about two brothers hailed as a masterful excursion into terror" Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer
2014: the debut novel of a former actress, inspired by a real–life exhibit at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer
2013: a novel by the author of the comic book series The Sandman, whose early works included Good Omens, a collaboration with Terry Pratchett set at the time of the end of the world Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer
2012: a novel – the first in a trilogy that traces the deepening relationship between a female college graduate and a young male business magnate; the UK's fastest–selling paperback ever Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer
2011: a feminist memoir by a former music journalist and broadcaster Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer
2010: a novel that covers the lives of its two protagonists on St. Swithin's Day (15 July), each year for twenty years (each chapter covering one year) Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer
2009: the story of the investigation into a real–life murder that helped to inspire the first English detective novel Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer
2008: a short novel, by the author who won the Booker Prize in 1998 for Amsterdam, set on and around the famous Dorset coastal feature that appears in the title Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer
2007: a retro–style "guidebook" aimed at boys "from eight to eighty", describing how to build a treehouse, grow a crystal, or tell direction with a watch (among lots of other things) Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer
2006: the sixth and penultimate volume in a series of children's novels that also represents the summit of many an adult's literary ambitions, and was made into the second–highest–grossing film series ever Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer
2005: controversial mystery–detective novel, highly critical of the Catholic Church – the 2006 film adaptation grossed three quarters of a billion dollars Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer
2004: subtitled The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation; a lament for the neglect of punctuation in the English language, by a former Times journalist and BBC Radio 4 panel game host Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer
2003: subtitled … and Other Sorry Excuses for the State of the Nation!; a highly critical appraisal of the policies of the Clinton and Bush administrations, and US government in general Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer
2002: a biography of her famous husband, by a New Zealand–born actress and clinical psychologist Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer
2001: the book that established the reputation of this former music journalist as a novelist Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer
2000: the first in a seemingly endless series of autobiographies by "one of the greatest and most successful managers of all time" Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer
1999: a collection of poems by Britain's Poet Laureate, published just months before his death in 1998; widely considered to be his most explicit response to the suicide in 1963 of his estranged (and equally famous) wife, and to their widely discussed, politicised and "explosive" marriage Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer
1998: a 1996 novel that began in 1995 as an anonymous column in The Independent newspaper Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer
1997: the story of John Harrison, an 18th–century clockmaker who revolutionised the science of navigation, simply by creating a highly–accurate clock (chronometer); quite possibly the book that inspired the ending to Only Fools and Horses Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer
1996: the follow–up to How to Cook (Books One, Two and Three) Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer
1995: a memoir and a collection of essays by a multi–talented British author – probably best known for the series of television monologues Talking Heads and the play The Madness of George III Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer
1994: subtitled Three Women of China; a family history spanning a century, recounting the lives of the author's grandmother and her mother, then finally her own autobiography Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer

Other Awards

Despite what you might expect, not all pub quizzers are great readers. Or if they are, they tend to have their specialist subjects. What they don't tend to read is the type of books that win awards – in which so–called 'literary fiction' is one genre that figures strongly. This is why book awards don't feature all that often in the pub quiz – or so, at least, it seems to me.

Apart from the Booker, and the very occasional mention of the other awards we've already looked at, the most you're likely to get asked is to identify an award from a brief description, or the type of book that a particular award is concerned with. So here's a selection.

One of Britain's earliest annual literary awards: established in 1919 by the philanthropist Alice Warrender (1857–1947); awarded to authors aged 40 or under, on the quality of their "imaginative literature" (either poetry or prose) Click to show or hide the answer
Founded in 1919 in memory of a partner in the publishing house of A & C Black Ltd, by his widow; awarded in three categories – Fiction, Biography and Drama Click to show or hide the answer
Founded in 1996: awarded annually to a female author, of any nationality, for the best original full–length novel written in English and published in the United Kingdom in the preceding year 1996–2012 Click to show or hide the answer
Since 2014 Click to show or hide the answer
Founded in 1999 based on an anonymous donation, and administered by the BBC: awarded for the best non–fiction writing in the English language and published in the UK; renamed in 2016 after its new sponsor, an Edinburgh–based investment management company 1999–2015 Click to show or hide the answer
Since 2016 Click to show or hide the answer
Awarded by the Society of Authors to the best writer or writers under the age of 35, to be spent on foreign travel; named after the English author who instituted it in 1947 Click to show or hide the answer
Founded in 1971: awarded for English–language books by writers based in Britain and Ireland, in five categories – Novel, First novel, Children's book, Poetry, Biology; given for readability as well as literary merit; the overall winner is chosen from the winners of the five categories 1971–2005 Click to show or hide the answer
Since 2006 Click to show or hide the answer
(UK) Sports Book of the Year award: founded in 1989, sponsored throughout its life to date by (bookmaker) Click to show or hide the answer

The Hugo awards (named after Hugo Gernsback, founder of the pioneering magazine Amazing Stories) are for Click to show or hide the answer

© Haydn Thompson 2017