Banville wins the 2005 Booker Prize

Irish-born author John Banville has won the Man Booker Prize 2005 for his novel, ‘The Sea’.

Banville’s novel, about a man confronting a distant trauma in a town he once spent a childhood holiday in, was selected from a short-list of six authors to win the £50,000 prize at London’s Guildhall on Monday night.

Banville, a former literary editor of the ‘Irish Times’, beat other authors Julian Barnes, Sebastian Barry, Kazuo Ishiguro, Ali Smith and Zadie Smith, in what was described as an “extraordinarily closely contested last round.”

Chair of the judges, John Sutherland, said that the judging panel felt the level of the shortlisted novels “was as high as it can ever have been”, but they finally agreed to award the prize to Mr Banville. Mr Sutherland described The Sea as “a masterly study of grief, memory and love recollected.”

Last night’s win was second time lucky for Banville, who was shortlisted for the prestigious prize in 1989 for his novel ‘The Book of Evidence’. However, he lost out to Kazuo Ishiguro, also nominated this year, for his novel ‘The Remains of the Day’. His win makes him the first Irish author to win the Booker Prize since Roddy Doyle won the award with ‘Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha’ in 1993.

The other novels shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2005 were:
  • Julian Barnes - ‘Arthur & George’
  • Sebastian Barry - ‘A Long Long Way’
  • Kazuo Ishiguro – ‘Never Let Me Go’
  • Ali Smith – ‘The Accidental’
  • Zadie Smith – ‘On Beauty’

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