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The Booker Prizes Backlist

The Booker Prize 1978

The Winner

The Sea, The Sea

By Iris Murdoch

Published by Chatto & Windus

Charles Arrowby, leading light of England’s theatrical set, retires from glittering London to an isolated home by the sea. He plans to write a memoir about his great love affair with Clement Makin, his mentor both professionally and personally, and to amuse himself with Lizzie, an actress he has strung along for many years. None of his plans work out, and his memoir evolves into a riveting chronicle of the strange events and unexpected visitors – some real, some spectral – that disrupt his world and shake his oversized ego to its very core.


The Shortlist

The 1978 Judges

Sir Alfred (A.J.) Ayer (Chair) 

Clare Boylan

Angela Huth

Derwent May

P. H. Newby