Nadine Gordimer and Stanley Middleton, joint winners of 1974 Booker Prize
The Booker Prize’s bugbear – the double win – raised its head for the first time when the award was split between Nadine Gordimer’s The Conservationist and Stanley Middleton’s Holiday.
Nevertheless, the twin win at least put paid to the embarrassment that had greeted the shortlist announcement. Kingsley Amis’s Ending Up made the cut; all well and good except that his wife, Elizabeth Jane Howard, was one of the judges.
She waved away the whiff of nepotism by declaring that, regardless, it was ‘easily Kinsgley’s best book’. Gordimer meanwhile went on to win the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1991 while Middleton wrote 31 more novels – and turned down an OBE.