The then youngest winner in Ben Okri for The Famished Road and another episode of judging pique when Nicholas Mosley walked out in protest at the non-shortlisting of a favoured book.
Mosley, who had been on the first ever Booker Prize shortlist, was adamant that Allan Massie’s The Sins of the Fathers deserved a tilt at the prize. When his fellow judges refused to budge he promptly resigned, ‘partly in a huff,’ he said, ‘but also… to strike a blow for ideas’.
The stripling Okri, then 32, went on to triumph with a lush tale full of mysticism and spirits set in post-colonial Nigeria. Okri later said gnomically that: ‘The novel was written to give myself reasons to live.’