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The Booker Prize 1994

The Booker Prize 1994

The Winner

How Late It Was, How Late

By James Kelman

Published by Secker & Warburg 

A raw, wry vision of human survival in a bureaucratic world, How Late It Was, How Late opens one Sunday morning in Glasgow, Scotland, as Sammy, an ex-convict with a penchant for shoplifting, awakens in a lane and tries to remember the two-day drinking binge that landed him there. Then, things only get worse. Sammy gets in a fight with some soldiers, lands in jail, and discovers that he is completely blind. His girlfriend disappears, the police probe him endlessly, and his stab at Disability Compensation embroils him in the Kafkaesque red tape of the welfare system.


The Shortlist

The 1994 Judges

Professor John Bayley (Chair)

Rabbi Julia Neuberger

Dr Alastair Niven

Alan Taylor

James Wood