Alan Hollinghurst wins Booker prize
October 27, 2004
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
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
Book Marks – The Line of Beauty [12/10/2004]