At the time of his win, Roddy Doyle was better known for the screen versions of his books than for the books themselves. He had already won a BAFTA for The Commitments.
Doyle, shortlisted for the prize in 1991 with The Van, won with a novel taking a year in the life of a misunderstood ten-year-old Dublin boy, Patrick ‘Paddy’ Clarke. Like most of his work, the novel is driven by dialogue rather than plot. Doyle’s reputation as a humourist meant that the poignancy and foreboding in the book came as a surprise to readers expecting something more joshing.
Although all three books in his Barrytown Trilogy have been filmed, Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha remains solely on the page.
Winner The Booker Prize 1993
By David Malouf
By Roddy Doyle