Annal: 1979 Man Booker Prize for Fiction

Results of the Man Booker Prize in the year 1979.

Book:Offshore

Offshore

Penelope Fitzgerald

On the Battersea Reach of the Thames, a mixed bag of eccentrics live in houseboats. Belonging to neither land nor sea, they belong to one another. There is Maurice, a homosexual prostitute; Richard, a buttoned-up ex-navy man; but most of all there’s Nenna, the struggling mother of two wild little girls. How each of their lives complicates the others is the stuff of this perfect little novel.

Book:A Bend in the River

A Bend in the River: A Novel

V.S. Naipaul

In the “brilliant novel” (The New York Times) V.S. Naipaul takes us deeply into the life of one man—an Indian who, uprooted by the bloody tides of Third World history, has come to live in an isolated town at the bend of a great river in a newly independent African nation. Naipaul gives us the most convincing and disturbing vision yet of what happens in a place caught between the dangerously alluring modern world and its own tenacious past and traditions.

Book:Confederates

Confederates: A Novel

Thomas Keneally

Thomas Keneally’s epic of the Civil War takes us into the lives of four remarkable characters in the embattled Virginia summer of 1862: a southern hospital matron who is also a Union spy, a British war journalist with access to both sides, and two foot soldiers under Stonewall Jackson.

Book:Joseph

Joseph

Julian Rathbone

Joseph Bosham, self–styled third Viscount of Bosham, with a half–English Catholic priest for a father and an Italian brothel–keeper in place of a mother, educated in mathematics, music, and philosophy, but with a gift for narrative and a natural bent for depravity, was born into the turbulent Europe of 1790 and settled in Spain. There, gypsies, devil–worshippers, and the remnants of the Inquisition fought for space with the great armies of Wellington and Napoleon. Seduced by the hectic glamour of battle at the age of eleven and tossed in its wake for the next fifteen years, little José survives as courier, pimp, linguist, mercenary, and mascot to tell his poignant, comic, richly entertaining, and tantalizingly unreliable tale.

Julian Rathbone’s re–invention of the picaresque is a riotous, complex, and deliciously subversive masterpiece.

Book:Praxis

Praxis

Fay Weldon

Tells the story of a woman from childhood to adulthood. The book begins in wartime Brighton and follows Praxis in her various personalities—whore, adulteress and finally murderer.

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