Julian Barnes Takes the Man Booker Prize

The fourth time is, apparently, the charm. With The Sense of an Ending, Julian Barnes wins the 2011 Man Booker Prize. The multifaceted writer has been shortlisted three times before, for three wildly different novels -- first in 1984 for his innovative Flaubert's Parrot; fourteen years later for  England, England; and then again for Arthur and George in 2005. In The Sense of an Ending, a man in late middle age finds that a secret from his childhood threatens to overturn the careful architecture of his comfortable life.

 

The other shortlisted titles were The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt, Jamrach's Menagerie by Carol Birch, Half Blood Blues by Esi Edugya, Pigeon English by Stephen Kelman, and Snowdrops by A. D. Miller.

April 23: " 'A job,' the woman repeated again, smiling, as if I hadn't heard her. 'Would you like one?' "

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The People's Platform

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A Private Venus

Dubbed "the Italian Simenon," Giorgio Scerbanenco (1911-1969) began his crime-writing career with books set in the USA, but quickly shifted scene closer to home, the city of Milan.  In this adventure, appearing in English for the first time, his underdog hero Dr. Duca Lamberti finds himself in the middle of a seedy, scantily clad criminal racket, where the presence of an outsider could result in death.