Michael Ondaatje’s The English Patient wins prestigious Golden Man Booker Prize

To mark the big anniversary, the Booker Prize Foundation created a special Golden Man Booker Prize to reward the greatest book to ever win the award.

Adapted into a multiple Oscar-winning film starring Ralph Fiennes as the desert explorer Làszlò Almàsy, Juliette Binoche as his nurse Hana and Kristin Scott Thomas as the married Katharine Clifton, The English Patient was one of the best-known books on the shortlist.

Simon Mayo, a novelist and broadcaster, chose the 2009 prize victor "Wolf Hall" by Hilary Mantel.

A panel of judges read all 52 former winners of the award, with each assigned a decade from the Booker's history.

Despite now being judged the best book of the past 50 years, after its release, The English Patient shared the 1992 award with Barry Unsworth's 18th Century slave tale Sacred Hunger.

The Sri Lanka-born writer was announced as the victor at the closing event of the Man Booker 50 Festival at the Royal Festival Hall, which saw Shamsie discuss why she had chosen The English Patient and an extract performed by actor Chiwetel Ejiofor.

The novel - written by Sri-Lankan born Ondaatje in 1992 - tells of the entanglement of four people in an Italian villa, including an English burns victim, as the Second World War ends.

"Not for a second do I believe this is the best book on the list", said Ondaatje, who was quoted in the Guardian. "I suspect and know more than anyone that perhaps 'The English Patient" is still cloudy, with errors in pacing". Then the award "Booker of Bookers" was the British Salman Rushdie for his book "Children of midnight".

She continued: "It's intricately (and rewardingly) structured, beautifully written, with great humanity written into every page".

"And through all this, he makes you fall in love with his characters, live their joys and their sorrows". The organizing Committee praised her novel Flights ("Flights"), translated Jennifer Croft. "As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the prize, it demonstrates the impact and legacy of the man Booker prize, because all the winning books are still pechatayutsya", said Fund Chairman of the Booker prize Baroness Helena Kennedy.

Vanessa Coleman