Alan Hollinghurst wins Booker prize

October 27, 2004

Alan Hollinghurst
LONDON — Alan Hollinghurst's novel, The Line of Beauty, a tale of a young man who becomes caught up in a world of privilege, won Britain's most prestigious literary award Tuesday.

"It's very amazing to me that the long, solitary process of writing a novel should lead to a moment like this," Hollinghurst said in accepting the Man Booker Prize.

The 50-year-old British author's book, set in 1980s London, tells the story of Nick Guest, who takes a room in the home of a wealthy political family.

Hollinghurst beat five other finalists for the award.

The Man Booker Prize, which comes with a 50,000 pound (US$90,000, .72,000) check, is open to writers from Britain, Ireland and the Commonwealth of former British colonies.

This year's six-book shortlist had prompted some criticism for its exclusion of literary heavyweights like V.S. Naipaul and Muriel Spark.

Chris Smith, the Labour Party lawmaker who headed the judging panel, praised the short-listed novels when they were revealed, but said he hadn't been impressed by the year's output.

"Of the books submitted, I have to say quite a number were not very good," he said.

Once known just as the Booker Prize, the award was renamed when the financial services conglomerate Man Group PLC began sponsoring it two years ago.

Last year's winner was D.B.C. Pierre's Vernon God Little, a darkly comic novel written in the voice of a teenager who is falsely accused of a Texas school shooting. Pierre is the pen name for Australian Peter Finlay.

This year's judging panel included novelist Tibor Fischer, writer and academic Robert Macfarlane, Erotic Review editor Rowan Pelling and Labour Party lawmaker Chris Smith. – Sapa-AP

Related stories
Book Marks – The Line of Beauty [12/10/2004]



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