Julian Barnes was last night named the winner of this year's £50,000 Man Booker Prize for Fiction for The Sense of an Ending. Barnes has been the bookies' favourite to win since the shortlist announcement on the 6th of September. Barnes, who previously described the prize as 'posh bingo', has been shortlisted three times in the past for Arthur and George (2005), England, England (1998) and Flaubert's Parrot (1984). The Sense of an Ending, a 150 page novella, is the story of a seemingly ordinary man who, when revisiting his past in later life, discovers that the memories he holds are less than perfect. Dame Stella Rimington, Chair of the 2011 judges, made the announcement at the awards dinner at London's Guildhall, broadcast by the BBC. She commented: "Julian Barnes' The Sense of an Ending has the markings of a classic of English Literature. It is exquisitely written, subtly plotted and reveals new depths with each reading." Barnes was presented with a cheque for £50,000 and can expect a substantial increase in the sales of his book. Sales of the books shortlisted for the 2011 Man Booker Prize have been the highest selling since records began.
The other shortlisted books were:
Carol Birch - Jamrach's Menagerie
Patrick deWitt - The Sisters Brothers
Esi Edugyan - Half Blood Blues
Stephen Kelman - Pigeon English
A D Miller - Snowdrops