Annal: 2000 Man Booker Prize for Fiction

Results of the Man Booker Prize in the year 2000.

Book:The Blind Assassin

The Blind Assassin

Margaret Atwood

Margaret Atwood takes the art of storytelling to new heights in a dazzling new novel that unfolds layer by astonishing layer and concludes in a brilliant and wonderfully satisfying twist.

For the past twenty-five years, Margaret Atwood has written works of striking originality and imagination. In The Blind Assassin, she stretches the limits of her accomplishments as never before, creating a novel that is entertaining and profoundly serious.

The novel opens with these simple, resonant words: “Ten days after the war ended, my sister drove a car off the bridge.” They are spoken by Iris, whose terse account of her sister Laura’s death in 1945 is followed by an inquest report proclaiming the death accidental. But just as the reader expects to settle into Laura’s story, Atwood introduces a novel-within-a- novel.…[more]

Book:The Deposition of Father McGreevy

The Deposition of Father McGreevy

Brian O'Doherty

In a London pub in the 1950s, editor William Maginn is intrigued by a reference to the reputedly shameful demise of a remote mountain village in Kerry, Ireland, where he was born. Maginn returns to Kerry and uncovers an astonishing tale: both the account of the destruction of a place and a way of life which once preserved Ireland’s ancient traditions, and the tragedy of an increasingly isolated village where the women mysteriously die-leaving the priest, Father McGreevy, to cope with insoluble problems. Looking back in time, the book traces how, as World War II rages through Europe, McGreevy struggles to preserve what remains of his parish, and struggles against the rough mountain elements, the grief and superstitions of his people, and the growing distrust in the town below. The Deposition of Father McGreevy is a remarkable story, and a gripping exploration of both the locus of misfortune and the nature of evil. Rich in the details of Irish lore and life, its narrative evokes both a time and a place with the accuracy of a keen, unsentimental eye, and renders its characters with heartfelt depth.

Book:The Hiding Place

The Hiding Place: A Novel

Trezza Azzopardi

This exceptional debut novel about family, love, and the innocence and terror of childhood has caused an absolute sensation, garnering no less than eleven leading publishers around the world. Set in a Maltese immigrant community in Cardiff, Wales, and peopled with sharp-edged, luminously drawn characters, The Hiding Place is the story of Frankie Gauci, his wife Mary, and their six daughters and about Frankie’s betrayal, gambling away his family’s livelihood and eventually the family itself. Written in magical language buoyed by grace, it is a mesmerizing exploration of how family, like fire, can shift suddenly from something that provides light and warmth to a dangerous conflagration, sparing no one in its path. The Gaucis’ story is seen through the eyes of Dolores, the youngest daughter and, in her father’s estimation, the embodiment of bad luck, condemned to bear the mark of a family that is rapidly singeing at the edges. With a lyricism that belies the horrors she so often recounts (“children burnt and…[more]

Book:The Keepers of Truth

The Keepers of Truth: A Novel

Michael Collins

The last of a manufacturing dynasty in a dying industrial town, Bill lives alone in the family mansion and works for the Truth, the moribund local paper. He yearns to write long philosophical pieces about the American dream gone sour, not the flaccid write-ups of bake-off contests demanded by the Truth. Then, old man Lawton goes missing, and suspicion fixes on his son, Ronny. Paradoxically, the specter of violent death breathes new life into the town. For Bill, a deeper and more disturbing involvement with the Lawtons ensues. The Lawton murder and the obsessions it awakes in the town come to symbolize the mood of a nation on the edge. Compulsively readable, The Keepers of Truth startles both with its insights and with Collins’s powerful, incisive writing.

Book:When We Were Orphans

When We Were Orphans

Kazuo Ishiguro

The maze of human memory—the ways in which we accommodate and alter it, deceive and deliver ourselves with it—is territory that Kazuo Ishiguro has made his own. In his previous novels, he has explored this inner world and its manifestations in the lives of his characters with rare inventiveness and subtlety, shrewd humor and insight. In When We Were Orphans, his first novel in five years, he returns to this terrain in a brilliantly realized story that illuminates the power of one’s past to determine the present.

Christopher Banks, an English boy born in early-twentieth-century Shanghai, is orphaned at age nine when his mother and father both vanish under suspicious circumstances. Sent to live in England, he grows up to become a renowned detective and, more than twenty years later, returns to Shanghai, where the Sino-Japanese War is raging, to solve the mystery of the disappearances. …[more]

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