‘Best of the Booker’ pits Rushdie against 40 pretenders

From The Guardian:

Rushdie372x192_2 Has there been a Booker to better Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children? That’s the question the Man Booker prize are posing on the 40th anniversary of the literary award. In 1993 Rushdie won the Booker of Bookers on the prize’s 25th anniversary but now, 15 years and 15 winners on, he is in danger of losing his crown.

The Best of the Booker is a one-off award which will, ultimately, be decided by the public. A panel of judges, including the broadcaster Mariella Frostrup and John Mullan, professor of English at UCL, and led by the biographer and critic Victoria Glendinning, will select a shortlist of six titles from the 41 novels that have won the prize. The discrepancy between the number of winners and the number of years arises from the fact that the award has twice been was shared: between Nadine Gordimer’s The Conversationist and Stanley Middleton’s Holiday in 1974, and Michael Ondaatje’s The English Patient and Barry Unsworth’s Sacred Hunger in 1992.

More here.