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John Banville Wins 2005 Man Booker Prize

abstract:Irish-born writer John Banville was named winner of the 37th Man Booker Prize for his novel, The Sea published by Picador. He takes home £50,000. If you read only one prize-winner this fall -- let it be Banville.


October 12, 2005
— Regarded as the most stylistically elaborate Irish writer of his generation, John Banville is a philosophical novelist concerned with the nature of perception, the conflict between imagination and reality, and the existential isolation of the individual.

In an oft-quoted turn of events, Banville was shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 1989 for his novel, The Book of Evidence, but lost out to Ishiguro’s The Remains of the Day. This year, however, the tables have turned with The Sea winning over Ishiguro’s shortlisted Never Let Me Go.

In The Sea Max Morden has loses his wife to cancer and retreats into a world of nostalgia and a longing for the simplicities of the past, but the past with its lost innocence and simpler relationships carries its own tragedies, and the constant presence of the sea at the edges of the narrative is a metaphor for the unknowability of the forces that shape, and occasionally end lives.

Other Books by John Banville

The Book of Evidence (Vintage 2001) is storytelling that has been compared with Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment.

The Untouchable (Vintage 1998) Loosely based on the life of British art historian and Soviet spy Anthony Blunt, and with capsule portraits of characters based on Guy Burgess and Donald Maclean.

The Newton Letter (David R Godine Publisher 1999) This book is a letter written by a nameless narrator who has entered the Irish countryside to finish his book on Newton. Taking up a cottage situated in a small village, he becomes engrossed in their lives of the people around him and rediscovers his passion. A stunning book that is only 97 pages.



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