July 10, 2018 (LBO) – Sri Lankan born Michael Ondaatje’s novel “The English Patient” has been voted the best Man Booker Prize winner ever in the 50 year history of the award.
Many of Ondaatje’s works have Sri Lankan subject matter or influence giving his writings a deep connection to the island where he spent his early youth.
“Ondaatje was born in Colombo, Sri Lanka, then called Ceylon, in 1943; and is of Dutch, Sinhalese, and Tamil ancestry. His parents separated when he was an infant; he then lived with relatives until 1954 when he joined his mother in England.”
“The Man Booker Prize for Fiction (formerly known as the Booker–McConnell Prize and commonly known simply as the Booker Prize) is a literary prize awarded each year for the best original novel written in the English language and published in the UK. The winner of the Man Booker Prize is generally assured international renown and success; therefore, the prize is of great significance for the book trade. From its inception, only novels written by Commonwealth, Irish, and South African (and later Zimbabwean) citizens were eligible to receive the prize; in 2014, however, this eligibility was widened to any English-language novel—a change which proved controversial.
A high-profile literary award in British culture, the Booker Prize is greeted with great anticipation and fanfare. It is also a mark of distinction for authors to be selected for inclusion in the shortlist or even to be nominated for the “longest”.”