LONDON—British author Julian Barnes on Tuesday won the 2011 Man Booker Prize, one of the highest-profile awards in English-language literature, for his novel “The Sense of an Ending”.
Barnes, who has been shortlisted three times before, picked up the £50,000 ($80,000, 57,000 euros) award, which recognises the best work of fiction by an author from the Commonwealth or the Republic of Ireland, at a ceremony in London.
He told the audience assembled at the Guildhall he was “as much relieved as I am delighted” after losing out in 1984, 1998 and 2005.
Barnes was the bookmaker’s favourite ahead of Carol Birch, with “Jamrach’s Menagerie”, and A.D. Miller’s thriller “Snowdrops”.
The build-up to this year’s event was overshadowed by the launch of a rival award in protest at the apparent populist nature of the six-book shortlist and the make-up of the five-member judging panel.
The panel was chaired by the former head of Britain’s domestic intelligence agency MI5, Stella Rimington.