a most golden Booker

In celebration the 50th Anniversary of the Man Booker prize some canny administrators decided it would be swell to pit all previous winners against one other for a literary back-pat to stand the test of time.

Derided by some as a publicity stunt, the award will nevertheless carry an enduring gravitas as the Booker of Bookers (thus far, anyway). As the judges announce their controversial shortlist at the Hay Literary Festival this month, it’s prime time to take to social media for a good whinge. The list could be said to reflect a certain contemporary bias as there are several surprise outs and ins. But the good news is the final winner will be decided by the public, who have until early July to submit their vote.

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marlon james & the booker prize

Not for the faint of heart, or short of mind.

Snaps for Marlon James, the first Caribbean to win the Booker Prize since V. S. Naipaul won in 1971 with In a Free State, and the third in a row of winners who have not been Irish, English or Indian.

James’ win should put a smile on many a rebellious face, much like the subject matter of his book A History of Seven Killings, which covers the attempted assassination of Bob Marley in Jamaica in the 1970s and traces the cultural fallout through the following decades, employing a surprisingly diverse array of narrative voices.

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