LONDON (Reuters) - British novelist Beryl Bainbridge, dubbed the “Booker Bridesmaid” after being nominated for the coveted award five times without winning, was finally honored on Tuesday nearly a year after her death.
The organizers of the Man Booker Prize, among the most prestigious literary awards for works in English, invited the public to vote for its favorite shortlisted Bainbridge work, and “Master Georgie” was declared the winner.
The five nominated Bainbridge novels were “The Dressmaker” (1973), “The Bottle Factory Outing” (1974), “An Awfully Big Adventure” (1990), “Every Man for Himself” (1996) and “Master Georgie” (1998). All are now published in paperback by Abacus.
Bainbridge’s five nominations mean she has been shortlisted more than any other author.
The voting via the Man Booker website put “Master Georgie” ahead of “Every Man For Himself” by just a few votes.
The Man Booker Best of Beryl prize, a one-off, designer-bound copy of the winning book, was awarded to Bainbridge’s daughter Jojo Davies and grandson Charlie Russell on behalf of the family at a special ceremony.
“Beryl was a very gracious non-winner and no Man Booker dinner was complete without her,” said Ion Trewin, literary director of the Man Booker prizes.
“She may have been known as the eternal Booker Bridesmaid, but we are delighted to be able finally to crown Master Georgie a Booker Bride.”
“Master Georgie” was shortlisted in the year that Ian McEwan’s novel “Amsterdam” won the award.
The story is set during the Crimean War and follows the adventures of George Hardy, a surgeon and photographer who leaves Liverpool to offer his services in the war.
Bainbridge died in July last year aged 77.
Reporting by Mike Collett-White; Editing by Jill Serjeant