Booker Prize "bridesmaid" Bainbridge honored

Mon Feb 7, 2011 7:22pm EST
 
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LONDON (Reuters) - British novelist Beryl Bainbridge, shortlisted five times for the coveted Booker Prize for fiction but never a winner, will finally be honored with a special "Best of Beryl" award, organizers said on Tuesday.

Bainbridge, who died last year, came to be known as the "Booker bridesmaid" for her string of near misses, and now the public is being invited to choose a favorite from the five shortlisted novels via the Man Booker website (www.themanbookerprize.com).

"Beryl did want to win the Booker very much despite her protests to the contrary," her daughter Jojo Davies said in a statement. "We are glad she is finally able to become a bride, no longer the bridesmaid."

No author has been shortlisted as many times for the prize.

Her 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 which are now published in paperback by Abacus.

Her final novel, "The Girl in the Polka Dot Dress," will be published posthumously in June.

Online voting opens on Tuesday and the winning title will be announced in mid-April.

(Reporting by Mike Collett-White, editing by Paul Casciato)