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Michael Ondaatje’s The English Patient wins prestigious Golden Man Booker Prize

11 July 2018

The English Patient, written by University of Toronto alumnus Michael Ondaatje, has been voted the greatest recipient of the Man Booker Prize from the past half-century.

The novel, along with Barry Unsworth's Sacred Hunger had won the Booker Prize in 1992.

Founded in 1969, the Man Booker prize was originally open to British, Irish and Commonwealth writers, but eligibility was expanded in 2014 to all English-language novelists.

Before the books faced a month-long public vote on the Man Booker website, all 51 previous winners were also considered by a panel of five judges, each of whom was asked to read the winning novels from one decade of the prize's history.

Ondaatje's novel takes place at the end of the Second World War, as a nurse, thief and sapper care for a mysterious nameless man they call the English patient.

The other finalists were In A Free State by V S Naipaul for the 70s, Moon Tiger by Penelope Lively for the 80s, Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel for the 2000s and Lincoln In The Bardo by George Saunders for the 2010s. "While we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the award, that all the books-winners are still printed, is a Testament to her award, influence and heritage", - said the Baroness.

The five selected novels were then put to a public vote. It is reported by The New York Times. The organizing Committee praised her novel Flights ("Flights"), translated Jennifer Croft.

The novel - which was adapted into an Oscar-winning 1996 movie starring Ralph Fiennes and Juliette Binoche - was judged to be the best victor of the 52 books to have won the prestigious award.

The English Patient was adapted into a film in 1996. The film received nine Academy Awards - including Best Picture and Director - at the 69th Academy Awards.

Baroness Helena Kennedy, Chair of the Booker Prize Foundation, added: "It is a compelling work of fiction - both poetic and philosophical - and is a worthy victor of the Golden Man Booker".

Michael Ondaatje’s The English Patient wins prestigious Golden Man Booker Prize