You are here

The Booker Prize 1992

The Booker Prize 1992

The Winner

The English Patient

Set in 1945, The English Patient explores the lives of four very disparate war torn people, a young woman and three men, who take refuge in a damaged villa north of Florence as the war retreats around them. In an upstairs room lies the badly burned English patient, alive but unable to move. His extraordinary adventures and turbulent love affair in the North African desert before the war provide the focus around which the vivid tales of his companions revolve. His very presence will forever change the destiny of those around him.


Sacred Hunger

Sacred Hunger

By Barry Unsworth

Published by Hamish Hamilton 

A blasphemous outcast, Matthew Paris boards the “Liverpool Merchant” as ship’s doctor as it embarks on a mercantile voyage in the slave trade. An illness breaks out among the slaves and crew between Guinea and the West Indies, and slaves are ordered to be tossed overboard in order to claim the insurance. Illness gives rise to mutiny, the captain is killed, and, with Paris as one of the leaders, the ship sails for Florida to establish an egalitarian, interracial society. Meanwhile, back in Liverpool, the loss of the ship has financially ruined its owner, Kemp, who hangs himself. Twelve years later, upon hearing rumours of a utopian community of blacks and whites in Florida, Kemp’s son sets out for revenge.


The Shortlist

The 1992 Judges

Victoria Glendinning (Chair) 

John Coldstream

Professor Valentine Cunningham

Dr Harriet Harvey Wood

Mark Lawson