Youngest ever woman wins Man Booker Prize at age of 35


Kiran Desai was tonight (Tuesday 10th October) named the winner of the £50,000 Man Booker Prize for Fiction for The Inheritance of Loss, published by Hamish Hamilton.

The Indian-born writer has a strong family tie with the prize as her mother Anita Desai has been shortlisted three times since 1980 but has never won. This year, however, her daughter, Kiran, has won the acclaimed literary prize.

Author of the 1998 universally praised Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard, Desai is the first woman to win the Man Booker since 2000 when Margaret Atwood scooped the prize with The Blind Assassin. Her winning book, The Inheritance of Loss, is a radiant, funny and moving family saga and has been described by reviewers as ‘the best, sweetest, most delightful novel’.

This is the first time that Hamish Hamilton has published a Man Booker Prize winner although they had two shortlisted authors in 2005.

Chair of the judges, Hermione Lee, made the announcement at the awards dinner at the Guildhall, London, which was broadcast live on the BBC 10 O’ Clock News. Harvey McGrath, Chairman of Man Group plc, presented Kiran Desai with a cheque for £50,000.

Hermione Lee comments,

“We are delighted to announce that the winner of the Man Booker Prize for 2006 is Kiran Desai’s The Inheritance of Loss, a magnificent novel of humane breadth and wisdom, comic tenderness and powerful political acuteness. The winner was chosen, after a long, passionate and generous debate, from a shortlist of five other strong and original voices.”

Over and above her prize of £50,000, Kiran Desai is guaranteed a huge increase in sales and recognition worldwide. Each of the six shortlisted authors, including the winner, receives £2,500 and a designer-bound edition of their book.

The judging panel for the 2006 Man Booker Prize for Fiction is: Hermione Lee (Chair), biographer, academic and reviewer; Simon Armitage, poet and novelist; Candia McWilliam, award-winning novelist; critic Anthony Quinn; and actor Fiona Shaw.

Source: Man Booker Prize for Fiction

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