From The Guardian:
A recent poll in the New York Times named Toni Morrison’s Beloved as the greatest work of American fiction in the past 25 years. But what about over here? On the eve of this year’s Booker Prize, we asked 150 literary luminaries to vote for the best British, Irish or Commonwealth novel from 1980 to 2005. If this Observer poll has any consequence it derives from the fact that we have consulted mainly with professionals. These included several writers who, neglected this time, might reasonably expect to attract the attention of critics and readers a generation hence. We are especially pleased to have enthusiastic responses from Andrea Levy, Zadie Smith, Monica Ali, Kirsty Gunn, Kate Grenville, Ali Smith, MJ Hyland and Sarah Waters, among others.
And so to our winner. JM Coetzee’s Disgrace received nominations from writers across the English-speaking world. This unforgettable novel of the South African crisis has already brought its author a record-breaking second Booker Prize in 1999. It is part of an oeuvre (including Waiting for the Barbarians, The Age of Iron and The Life and Times of Michael K) that was honoured by the Nobel in 2003.