J G Farrell wins Lost Booker for 'Troubles'

J G Farrell wins Lost Booker for 'Troubles'

Richard Farrell, the brother of late author J G Farrell, poses for photographs after his brother's book 'Troubles' was chosen from a shortlist of six books and announced as the winner of the Lost Man Booker Prize in London. AP

It won by a clear majority, winning 38 per cent of the votes by the international reading public, more than double the votes cast for any other book on the shortlist.
J G Farrell died in 1979.

'Troubles' is the first in Farrell's Empire Trilogy, which was followed by The Siege of Krishnapur (1973) and The Singapore Grip (1978).

'The Siege of Krishnapur' won the Booker Prize in 1973 and was shortlisted for the Best of the Booker, a special award created to mark the 40th anniversary of the prize in 2008.

Set in Ireland in 1919, just after the First World War, 'Troubles' tells the tragic-comic story of Major Brendan Archer who has gone to visit Angela, a woman he believes may be his fiancée.

Her home, from which he is unable to detach himself, is the dilapidated Majestic, a once grand Irish hotel, and all around is the gathering storm of the Irish War of Independence.

The winning book was voted for via the Man Booker Prize website, chosen from a shortlist of six selected by a panel of three judges, all of whom were born in or around 1970.

The shortlist included The Birds on the Trees by Nina Bawden (Virago); The Bay of Noon by Shirley Hazzard (Virago); Fire From Heaven by Mary Renault (Arrow); The Driver's Seat by Muriel Spark (Penguin); The Vivisector by Patrick White (Vintage).

Ion Trewin, Literary Director of the Man Booker Prizes, said: "Troubles is a novel of such lasting quality that it has never been out of print in the 40 years since it was first published.

Had this been the winning novel in 1970, JG Farrell would have gone on to become the first author to win the Booker Prize twice."

The Lost Man Booker Prize created to honour the books of 1970 which missed out on the chance to win the prize when it ceased to be awarded retrospectively and became - as it is today - a prize for the best novel of the year of publication.

The winner was announced by Lady Antonia Fraser, who was a judge for the Booker Prize in both 1970 and 1971.

The prize, a designer-bound first edition copy of the book, was accepted by J G Farrell's brother, Richard Farrell, on the author's behalf.

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