Anne Enright hears the winner announcement
Another Irish winner, disgruntled bookies, and more chat as to what constitutes a novel. No shortlisted book can be a surprise winner but Anne Enright’s The Gathering came close.
In the lead up to Enright’s win, the issued that aerated the literary world was whether Ian McEwan’s shortlisted On Chesil Beach was really a novel. At a svelte 40,000 words was it in fact a novella and so ineligible? No, said the judges.
Not that it mattered, despite huge sales and the tag of favourite, it was pipped in what the chair of judges, Howard Davies, called a ‘tight’ contest. Enright cautioned would-be readers that if they wanted a feel-good novel ‘they shouldn’t really pick up my book’.