Howard Jacobson wins Man Booker Prize

10/1 outsider beats strong competition to win £50,000 prize

The Finkler Question by Howard Jacobson has won the 2010 Man Booker prize. The 10/1 outsider beat the bookies' favourite, C by Tom McCarthy, to win the £50,000 award at a ceremony at the Guildhall in London last night.

The Finkler Question is a story of male friendship and Jewish identity. It centres around a reunion between two old school friends, radio producer Julian Treslove and philosopher Sam Finkler, and their former teacher Libor Sevcik.

Speaking to the Guardian, the Chairman of the judges Andrew Motion said, ‘It won because it was the best book. You expect a book by Howard Jacobson to be very clever and very funny and it is both those things. But it is also, in a very interesting way, a very sad, melancholic book. It is comic, it is laughter, but it is laughter in the dark.’ Jacobson said: 'I’m so sick of being described as the underrated Howard Jacobson. So the thought that's gone forever, is wonderful.’

Manchester-born Jacobson has been longlisted twice, but has never been shortlisted. He beat strong competition including previous winner Peter Carey who has won the Booker twice, and who, we understand, was runner-up in the judges' vote. At 68, Jacobson is the oldest author to win since William Golding in 1980 (for Rites of Passage). For more information about the Man Booker prize, click here.

last modified: Mon, Sep 12th 2011Bookmark and Share
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