Howard Jacobson was last night announced as the winner of the 2010 Man Booker Prize for his comic novel “The Finkler Question”. Irish author Emma Donoghue had been tipped to win the prestigious prize for her book “Room”.
Speaking about the results, Chairman of the judges, Poet Laureate Andrew Motion said: “The Finkler Question” is a marvellous book: very funny, of course, but also very clever, very sad and very subtle. It is all that it seems to be and much more than it seems to be. A completely worthy winner of this great prize.”
“The Finkler Question” is a contempory novel which explores the notion of being Jewish.
As well as being awarded the prestigious accolade of the Man Booker Prize, Jacobson also scooped the $79,000 (£50,000) award plus the prize will generate a huge increase on world wide sales of his book. The English author had been longlisted twice for the award, and is a well known academic and newspaper columist.
The other Man Booker Prize judges included Rosie Blau, literary editor of the Financial Times; Deborah Bull, formerly a dancer, now creative director of the Royal Opera House as well as a writer and broadcaster; Tom Sutcliffe, journalist, broadcaster and author, and Frances Wilson, biographer and critic.
Mr Motion also praised the work of Irish author Emma Donoghue when he said: “We liked it very much. That is why it was there. It is done extraordinarily well. The thing that appealed particularly to me about it is that it deals very interestingly with a dreadful imprisonment but then after that it has a second bit to it, which is what happens after they get out. In that sense it is two books for the price of one and all the more impressive for that.”
Donoghue was born in Ireland but now resides in Canada. She is also well known for her bestselling fictional book “Slammerkin”. Her latest novel “Room” tells the story of five year old Jack who is locked in a room with his mother. The story is told through the eyes of the child and was inspired by the Josef Fritzl case. Her novel has outsold all the other books shortlisted for the Booker prize.