Michael Ondaatje’s The English Patient has been voted the greatest-ever winner of the Man Booker Prize during five decades of the prestigious literary award.
The Canadian writer’s tale of love and conflict during the Second World War was named winner of the Golden Man Booker Prize for fiction at a ceremony in London on Sunday.
It beat four other novels in an online poll. Each book represented one of five decades.
The English Patient won the Booker in 1992. It was made into a 1996 movie starring Ralph Fiennes and Juliette Binoche that won nine Academy Awards.
Novelist Kamila Shamsie, one of the judges who drew up the shortlist, says the Toronto-based Ondaatje’s novel combined extraordinary language, compelling characters, a plot tinged with mystery and insights about war, nationalism and identity.