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Booker Prize Winners

Since the Booker Prize was launched in 1969 (then known as the Booker Prize for Fiction) it has become the most sought after literary award in British publishing.

As well as a £50,000 prize, the winner of the Booker receives a sales boost like no other with recent winners and a place in history.

We’ve gathered together a full list of the winners, plus a few interesting facts about them – perfect for those who are planning on completing their collection, or for those who are just revising for their next pub quiz.

Don’t forget, you can sign up to the Booker Prize subscription – you’ll receive one or two of the collection each month!

1969: Something to Answer For by P H Newby

1970: The Elected Member by Bernice Rubens

1970: Troubles by J G Farrell

Shortly after the Booker Prize was launched, the rules were changed, which meant that all books published in 1970 were ineligible for entry.  The Lost Booker Prize  was eventually awarded in 2010 to JG Farrell – in retrospect making Farrell the first person to win the Booker twice. Sort of.

1971: In a Free State by V S Naipaul

1972: G. by John Berger

Berger donated half of his winnings to the British Black Panther movement, because he agreed with its politics and not with those of the Booker Group.

1973: The Siege of Krishnapur by J G Farrell

1974: The Conservationist by Nadine Gordimer and Holiday by Stanley Middleton

The shortlist for this year included Kingsley Amis’s novel “Ending Up”, which I’m sure had nothing to do with the fact his wife was on the judging panel that year. 

1975: Heat and Dust by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala

The judges were so unimpressed with the submissions for this year’s prize that of the eighty-three titles they looked at, they only deemed two of them worthy of the shortlist.

1976: Saville by David Storey

1977: Staying On by Paul Scott

Philip Larkin was the chair of the panel this year and was so keen on “Staying On” winning that he threatened to jump out of the window if it didn’t.

1978: The Sea, The Sea by Iris Murdoch

1979: Offshore by Penelope Fitzgerald

At 132 pages, this is the shortest book to have won the prize. So far…

1980: Rites of Passage by William Golding

1981: Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie

1982: Schindler’s Ark by Thomas Keneally

The book was adapted into the 1993 film “Schindler’s List”, directed by Steven Spielberg, which went on to win seven Academy Awards

1983: Life & Times of Michael K by J M Coetzee

1984: Hotel du Lac by Anita Brookner

1985: The Bone People by Keri Hulme

This was the first book by a debut novelist to win the prize.

1986: The Old Devils by Kingsley Amis

1987: Moon Tiger by Penelope Lively

1988: Oscar and Lucinda by Peter Carey

1989: The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro

Like the 1982 winner, this was also made into a 1993 film starring Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson, the latter of whom got an Academy Award nomination for her role

1990: Possession: A Romance by A S Byatt

1991: The Famished Road by Ben Okri

1992: The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje and Sacred Hunger by Barry Unsworth

In 2018, a Golden Booker Prize was awarded to mark 50 years of the award, with “The English Patient” winning that too.

1993: Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha by Roddy Doyle

1994: How late it was, how late by James Kelman

1995: The Ghost Road by Pat Barker

This was the first sequel to win the prize.

1996: Last Orders by Graham Swift

1997: The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy

1998: Amsterdam by Ian McEwan

1999: Disgrace by J M Coetzee

This win gave J M Coetzee the honour of being the first author to win the Booker Prize twice. Five authors have now had two wins, while Margaret Atwood and Iris Murdoch lead the tables with the most nominations with six each.

2000: The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood

2001: True History of the Kelly Gang by Peter Carey

2002: Life of Pi by Yann Martel

The tiger in the book, Richard Parker, gets his name from that of a stranded mutineer in the Edgar Allen Poe novel, “The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket”.

2003: Vernon God Little by DBC Pierre

2004: The Line of Beauty by Alan Hollinghurst

2005: The Sea by John Banville

2006: The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai

This year also saw a special Booker Prize go to Beryl Bainbridge, who had been nominated five times but never won. The organisers acknowledge that it counts as an official Booker Prize too.

2007: The Gathering by Anne Enright

2008: The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga

2009: Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel

Mantel took five years to write “Wolf Hall”, and her research included a card catalogue    containing information on where every historical character in the books had really been and   what they had been doing on those days in history.

2010: The Finkler Question by Howard Jacobson

2011: The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes

This marked the eighth win for the publishing house Jonathan Cape, making them the most successful publishing house at the awards.

2012: Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel

2013: The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton

To date, this is the longest winner at 832 pages.

2014: The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan

2015: A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James

Had Bert been on the panel this year, he would’ve pulled a Philip Larkin and threatened to leap out of the window had “A Little Life” not won.

2016: The Sellout by Paul Beatty

2017: Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders

2018: Milkman by Anna Burns

“Milkman” is notable for not naming a single character or location.

2019: The Testaments by Margaret Atwood and Girl, Woman, Other by Bernadine Evaristo

Bernadine Evaristo was the first black woman to win the award.

2020: Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart

2021: The Promise by Damon Galgut

In the twelve weeks after his win, Galgut sold more copies of his books than he had in the previous seventeen years.

2022: TBC…