The Finkler Question has won the Booker. The author, Howard Jacobson, age 68, was born in Manchester. He is the author of 10 previous novels and an old hand at not winning. I’m cheering for him now.
From the NYT:
He accepted the award to unusually enthusiastic and sustained applause at an awards ceremony in London.
“I’m speechless,” he told the audience. “Fortunately, I prepared one earlier. It’s dated 1983. That’s how long the wait’s been.”
The Booker is given each year to a novel by an author in Britain, Ireland or one of the Commonwealth nations. The prize comes with a check for £50,000, or about $80,000, and a practically guaranteed jump in book sales and publicity.
It tells the story of two old friends, a BBC producer and a philosopher, who meet their former teacher for dinner. On the way home, one of them is robbed, which sets him on a comic journey of discovery about what it means to be Jewish.
I remember being told (in 2003) that “Jewish stories don’t sell in Britain.” I imagine this one is. Congratulations Mr. Jacobson. You give us all hope.