JG Farrell followed John Berger’s attack on the sponsors by launching one of his own, using his winner’s speech to criticise Booker McConnell’s involvement in Third World agriculture.

The sponsors must have been wondering what they had let themselves in for when Farrell, who won the prize for The Siege of Krishnapur, a brilliantly vivid novel set during the Indian Mutiny of 1857, took aim at them. Unlike Berger, however, Farrell deigned to keep the prize money for himself.

The prize doesn’t bear grudges and Farrell was to become a double winner when in 2010 Troubles won the Lost Man Booker Prize, retrospectively correcting a 1970/1 chronological glitch.

J.G. Farrell
Published by
Weidenfeld & Nicolson
J.G. Farrell details the siege of a fictional town in India in 1857, when Muslim soldiers turned to bloody rebellion against their British overlords.

The Shortlist

The Siege of Krishnapur
Prize winner
The Dressmaker
A Green Equinox
The Black Prince

The 1973 judges