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The Two-Way
4:00 pm
Tue October 18, 2011

'The Sense Of An Ending' By Julian Barnes Awarded Booker Prize

Judges announced that Julian Barnes' The Sense Of An Ending was awarded the 2011 Man Booker Prize. The Leicester-born Barnes was a Booker finalist three times before: in 1984 for his novel Flaubert's Parrot; in 1998 for England, England and in 2005 for Arthur and George

The AP reports:

Judges announced the winner of the 50,000 pound ($82,000) prize Tuesday at a ceremony in London.

Barnes, who has been a finalist three times before, beat books by British writers Stephen Kelman and Carol Birch and Canadians Esi Edugyan and Patrick deWitt.

From the Booker site, here's a synopsis of The Sense Of An Ending:

A truly wonderful novel that will have the reader immersed in the story from the very first page, and all the while marvelling at the precision of Barnes' prose. Tony Webster and his clique first met Adrian Finn at school. Sex-hungry and book-hungry, they would navigate the girl-less sixth form together, trading in affectations, in-jokes, rumour and wit. Maybe Adrian was a little more serious than the others, certainly more intelligent, but they all swore to stay friends for life. Now Tony is in middle age. He's had a career and a single marriage, a calm divorce. He's certainly never tried to hurt anybody. Memory, though, is imperfect. It can always throw up surprises, as a lawyer's letter is about to prove. The Sense of an Ending is the story of one man coming to terms with the mutable past. Laced with trademark precision, dexterity and insight, it is the work of one of the world's most distinguished writers.

Update at 5:07 p.m. A Review, An Excerpt:

Back in October, NPR ran a review of the book, which Heller McPalpin called "beautiful." McPalpin also provides a bit more on the central character of the book. Tony Webster, she writes "is a retired divorced man in his mid-60s who, after receiving notice of an unexpected bequest, is pulled back into a 'powerful recollection of strong emotions' from his past. This leads to a reassessment of the accuracy of his memories, a rueful realization of how much he'd gotten wrong and a harsh re-evaluation of his passive approach to life."

Also NPR books has posted an excerpt of the book.

Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.