The one-off award, voted for by the public, commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Man Booker prize. The shortlist of five novels was selected by a panel of judges from the 51 previous winners of the Man Booker, which honors the best novels written in English and published in Britain or Ireland.
“The English Patient is a compelling work of fiction — both poetic and philosophical,” Baroness Helena Kennedy, chair of the Booker Prize Foundation, said in a statement. “As we celebrate the prize’s 50th anniversary, it’s a testament to the impact and legacy of the Man Booker Prize that all of the winning books are still in print.”
Watch novelist and judge, Kamila Shamsie, announce the winner of The Golden Man Booker Prize
Michael Ondaatje is the author of four previous novels, a memoir, a nonfiction book on film, and several books of poetry. The English Patient won the Booker Prize and was an Academy Award-winning film; Anil’s Ghost won the Irish Times International Fiction Prize, the Giller Prize, and the Prix Médicis. Born in Sri Lanka, Ondaatje now lives in Toronto.