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.