Julian Barnes won the Man Booker Prize for Fiction last night for “The Sense of an Ending,” a slim novel whose narrator must grapple with the fallibility of his memory and sense of self when a friend’s long-ago suicide returns to haunt him.
Julian Barnes and Claire Tomalin were named two of 21 finalists for the Costa Book Awards, which pit authors of different genres against one another for a Book of the Year prize of 30,000 pounds ($48,000).
Best-selling authors Julian Barnes and Claire Tomalin took a back seat as Andrew Miller won the contest for top novel of 2011 and Matthew Hollis took the prize for best biography in Whitbread Plc’s annual Costa Book Awards.
Andrew Miller won the Costa Book of the Year award last night for “Pure,” a novel about pre- Revolutionary France. He defeated four other authors including the bookies’ favorite, biographer Matthew Hollis, and the U.K. poet laureate, Carol Ann Duffy, to collect a prize of 30,000 pounds ($46,760).
Stella Rimington has stared down KGB operatives and outwitted IRA militants. As the former director general of MI5 -- where she was both the first female boss and the first to be publicly named -- she’s no stranger to media scrutiny, either. Yet as head judge of this year’s Man Booker Prize, she finds herself flummoxed by the vitriol of London’s literati.