Camden’s Howard Jacobson scoops the Man Booker
CAMDEN author Howard Jacobson surprised the literary world last night by scooping its most prestigious accolade.
Mr Jacobson’s ‘The Finkler Question’, a comedy that explores the nature of Jewishness, is the first comic novel to win the Man Booker prize in its 40-year history.
Last year the �50,000 prize went to Hilary Mantel for her examination of Thomas Cromwell in Wolf Hall.
With bookmakers odds of 10/1 ‘The Finkler Question’ was an outsider at the awards, which were held at Guildhall in central London, but in the end Mr Jacobson triumphed over favourite Tom McCarthy.
The ex-market trader from Manchester has been long-listed for the prize twice before, however, this year was the first time he joined the final six on the shortlist.
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Poet Laureate and chair of the judges, Andrew Motion, said: “The Finkler Question is a marvellous book - very funny, of course, but also very clever, very sad and very subtle. It is all that it seems to be and much more than it seems to be. A completely worthy winner of this great prize.”
Mr Jacobson was a particular hit at the Hampstead and Highgate Literary Festival hosted by the Ham&High and the London Jewish Cultural Centre (LJCC).
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LJCC Marketing Director, Mandy King, said: “Everyone here is delighted by Man Booker’s recognition of Howard’s work.
“His events with us are always joyous occasions – resonating with his humour and emotive depictions of Jewish life.
“He was one of the highlights of our recent literary festival, particularly when we discovered a ‘Mrs Finkler’ happened to be in the audience.”