Saturday 26 November 2016

Poleaxed: Brookner at the Booker

Anita Brookner's shock at learning she has won Booker-McConnell Prize, 1984

Anita Brookner was in no way the favourite to win the Booker-McConnell Prize in October, 1984. It was a strong year, with many more 'Booker-friendly' novels in the running. There was some carping afterwards. Anthony Burgess, speaking on a literary talk show, made a comment about 'menstrual cramps in Swiss hotels'.

Brookner's shock is evident in the first photo, as the prize is announced. She was later interviewed on television, by Melvyn Bragg or Selina Scott (I once had a video of the clip, but cannot locate it now). She said winning had left her 'absolutely poleaxed'.

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