1995 Booker Prize judges
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Pat Barker’s First World War Regeneration Trilogy had already built up a head of critical steam, so there was a sense of rightness when the final volume, The Ghost Road, triumphed.
Barker’s win was acclaimed as an example of right winner, right book – not always the case. She saw off two former winners – Salman Rushdie (The Moor’s Last Sigh) and Barry Unsworth (Morality Play) – on her way to a victory that she saw as a means of promoting fiction generally rather than just her own work.
Her themes – the pity of war, sympathy for the shell-shocked and homosexuality, ambivalence to empire – were adroitly handled and hit a receptive moment in time.