Salman Rushdie's 1981 novel Midnight's Children (Jonathan Cape) was recently announced winner of the Best of the Booker award, a celebratory honor given to mark the fortieth anniversary of the Man Booker Prize. Rushdie's novel about the birth of India won the Booker Prize in 1981, and received a second honor, the Booker of Bookers, during the twenty-fifth anniversary of the award in 1993.
In May, the public was invited to select the Best of Bookers honoree from a shortlist of six titles, which judges Victoria Glendinning, Mariella Frostrup, and John Mullan had chosen from forty-one total Booker winners. Via the Booker Web site and SMS text messaging, 36 percent of the 7,800 voters from around the world selected Midnight's Children for the award.
Also in the running for the honor were Pat Barker's The Ghost Road (Viking, 1995), Peter Carey's Oscar and Lucinda (Faber & Faber, 1988), J. M. Coetzee's Disgrace (Secker & Warburg, 1999), J. G. Farrell's The Siege of Krishnapur (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1973), and Nadine Gordimer's The Conservationist (Jonathan Cape, 1974).
The Booker Prize, known since 2002 as the Man Booker Prize, was established in 1969, and is given annually for a novel by a writer from the British Commonwealth or Ireland.