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Ondaatje's The English Patient wins Golden Man Booker Prize

11 July 2018

Michael Ondaatje's "The English Patient" has been voted the greatest-ever victor of the Man Booker Prize during five decades of the prestigious literary award.

The Golden Man Booker, the one-off award marking the Man Booker Prize's 50thanniversary celebrations, was chosen by the public and revealed on Sunday.

He also said he suspected the Oscar-winning adaptation starring Ralph Fiennes, Juliette Binoche and Kristen Scott Thomas "probably had something to do with the result of this vote".

The 1970s finalist was "In a Free State" by Trinidad-born V.S. Naipaul, while "Moon Tiger" by British writer Penelope Lively was the 1980s contender.

The novel, a work of historical fiction that takes place in Italy during the Second World War, originally won the prestigious English-language literary prize in 1992 as well as the Governor General's Literary Award. The victor was revealed at the Man Booker 50 Festival in London's Royal Festival Hall on Sunday.

The English Patient, the 1992 Booker Prize victor, was declared the overall victor of the Golden Man Booker Prize in the 50 year history of the award at the Man Booker 50 Festival in London's Royal Festival Hall on Sunday.

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Born in 1943 in Sri Lanka when it was known as Ceylon, Mr. Ondaatje now lives in Canada.

All 51 previous Booker winners were considered by a panel of judges, who whittled them down to one from each decade.

The five selected novels were then put to a public vote. The book was adapted into a 1996 film by Anthony Minghella.

Judge Kamila Shamsie said the story was truly "transformative" as she explained why she had selected it as the victor of the 90s.

The English Patient is a tale on love and conflict and according to Judge Kamila Shamsie, it is a "rare novel which gets under your skin".

The other judges of the Golden Man Booker were writer and editor Robert McCrum, poet Lemn Sissay, broadcaster Simon Mayo and poet Hollie McNish.

Ondaatje's The English Patient wins Golden Man Booker Prize