2018 marked the 50th anniversary of the Booker Prize, the highlight of which was a special festival at the Southbank Centre to celebrate the milestone.
For half a century the prize has recognised many of the defining novels of our times and continues to celebrate the finest fiction. To mark the special year, the Booker Prize Foundation in collaboration with Southbank Centre presented a programme of literary debates, readings and masterclasses featuring authors from the prize’s history.
Reflecting the extraordinary range and depth of the prize, the one-off literary festival brought together pairings and panels of past winners and other cultural luminaries as they discussed their books, the inspiration they have drawn from each other, and the changing world that their fiction reflects. It ran from the 6th to the 8th of July in 2018.
The Man Booker 50 Festival featured highlights such as the result of the public vote for the Golden Man Booker prize, a one-off award for the best work of fiction from the last five decades of the competition.
Salman Rushdie’s 1981 Booker-winning Midnight’s Children, won the Booker of Bookers (25th anniversary) and the Best of Booker (40th anniversary) but the winner of the 50th anniversary’s Golden Man Booker was Michael Ondaatje’s The English Patient which had won the Booker Prize in 1992.