‘The English Patient’ Wins Best of Man Booker Prize

LONDON — “The English Patient,” the wartime love story by Michael Ondaatje, gained the Golden Man Booker Prize right here on Sunday evening.

The one-off award, voted for by the general public, commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Man Booker prize. The shortlist of five novels was selected by a panel of judges from the 51 earlier winners of the Man Booker, which honors the most effective novels written in English and revealed in Britain or Ireland.

“The English Patient is a compelling work of fiction — both poetic and philosophical,” Baroness Helena Kennedy, chair of the Booker Prize Foundation, stated in an announcement. “As we celebrate the prize’s 50th anniversary, it’s a testament to the impact and legacy of the Man Booker Prize that all of the winning books are still in print.”

Born in 1943 in Sri Lanka when it was often known as Ceylon, Mr. Ondaatje now lives in Canada. “The English Patient,” which follows the lives of 4 characters introduced collectively throughout World War II, instructed by means of the morphine-affected reminiscences of a severely burned affected person, was a Booker Prize winner in 1992.

In a review in The New York Times, Christopher Lehmann-Haupt wrote: “Reading ‘The English Patient,’ you hold on to the gunnel and your hat at the start. But by the end you find yourself resting on the bottom of the boat, with your hat over your face to keep off Mr. Ondaatje’s too brilliant prose.”

The movie adaptation starring Kristin Scott Thomas and Ralph Fiennes won nine Academy Awards in 1997, together with finest image.

Each of the judges for the Golden Man Booker Prize was allotted a decade from the prize’s historical past and tasked with choosing the right work from it. The public then voted on this shortlist.

Last yr’s winner, “Lincoln in the Bardo,” by George Saunders, was chosen by the poet Hollie McNish. Simon Mayo, a novelist and broadcaster, selected the 2009 prize winner “Wolf Hall” by Hilary Mantel. The poet Lemn Sissay picked “Moon Tiger” by Penelope Lively, the winner in 1987. And Robert McCrum, a author and editor, chosen “In a Free State” by V.S. Naipaul, which gained in 1971.

“The English Patient” was chosen by the novelist Kamila Shamsie to symbolize the 1990s.

Ms. Shamsie stated in an announcement, “‘The English Patient’ is that rare novel which gets under your skin and insists you return to it time and again, always yielding a new surprise or delight.”

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