Literary Corner Cafe

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Literary News - Help Choose Which of Dame Beryl Bainbridge's Novels Wins a Booker

The late, much loved, much respected novelist, Dame Beryl Bainbridge was shortlisted five times for the prestigious Man Booker Prize (more times than any other author), but unfortunately, she never actually won. The press dubbed her “the Booker bridesmaid,” and, unfortunately, despite her many other literary prizes and accolades, that appellation stuck. Now, the Man Booker Prize Foundation is going to award Bainbridge a special, posthumous prize, “The Man Booker Best of Beryl,” and has asked the public to vote on which of her five shortlisted novels should win.

Bainbridge’s shortlisted books were: The Dressmaker (1973); The Bottle Factory Outing (1974); An Awfully Big Adventure (1990); Every Man for Himself (1996), and Master Georgie (1998). All of these books can now be purchased in paperback editions by Abacus.

Ion Trewin, Literary Director of the Man Booker Prize commented:

Dame Beryl was a very gracious non-winner and no Man Booker dinner was complete without her. She may have been the eternal Booker Bridesmaid but, with this special prize created in her honour, we are delighted to be able finally to crown her a Booker Bride by letting the public choose what they believe to be the best of her books.

Dame Beryl’s daughter, Jojo Davies said:

Beryl did want to win the Booker very much despite her protests to the contrary. We are glad she is finally able to become the bride, no longer the bridesmaid.

Author and actress, Dame Beryl Bainbridge wrote seventeen novels, two travel books, and five plays for stage and television. Her novel, Master Georgie won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize. Every Man for Himself was awarded the Whitbread “Novel of the Year” Prize. The Bottle Factory Outing won the Guardian Fiction Prize, while Injury Time won the Whitbread Prize. The Bottle Factory Outing, Sweet William, and The Dressmaker were all adapted for film, as was An Awfully Big Adventure, which starred Hugh Grant and Alan Rickman. Dame Beryl’s final novel, The Girl in the Polka Dot Dress, will be published by Little, Brown in June.

The public has been invited to vote via an online poll on the Man Booker Website, which opens today, Tuesday, February 8, 2011, for their favorite of Dame Beryl’s five shortlisted novels. The winning title will be announced in mid-April 2011.

I’ve voted on the book I think should win the prize for Beryl. Please go to the Man Booker site here:

...and vote on which book you think should be awarded the prize, then please stop by here and let us know which you think should win, and which you think will win.


Annie said...

I felt terrible when I read the press release on this, because I realised just how little Bainbridge I'd read. And that little doesn't include any of these. I bow my head in shame as I head out to the library.

Gabrielle Renoir-Large said...
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