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Rushdie's Midnight's Children wins Best of Booker Award

New Delhi, Fri, 11 Jul 2008 Shivani Gupta

In an online voting for the best Booker Prize winner among the literary assets, Salman Rushdie's novel “Midnight's Children” held out the triumph flag marking the 40th anniversary of the prestigious literary award on Thursday, July 10.

The novel convincingly beat five other shortlisted works from the competition's 40-year-old history, including works by Pat Barker, Peter Carey and Nadine Gordimer. Readers from across the poles poured in their votes via internet and sms, casting a total of 36 percent votes of Sir Rushdie alone, thus enabling him to win by majority.

37 percent of the online votes were sent from UK whereas 27 percent of the online voting was contributed by the voters from North America. The voting lines were closed at the midday on 8th July with 7801 votes sent from throughout the world.

Maximum voters were young readers falling between the age group of 25-34 years, asserting the flaming interest in quality fiction among this group.

Rushdie could not attend the function as he is currently in America on a tour with his latest novel 'The Enchantress of the Florence'. Thus, his sons Zafar and Milan collected the custom-made trophy at the award ceremony for their father.

The award, however, did not went through a swift passage as it invited some criticism for restricting the choice to merely six contestants, deliberately excluding many other major works such as Arundhati Roy's ‘The God of Small Things' and Kazuo Ishiguro's 'The Remains of The Day'.

Midnight Children, published in 1981, won Rushdie literary fame for the first time. It brought him home the 1981 Booker prize and The James Tait Black Memorial prize for the same year. Previously also, it was awarded the 'Booker of the Bookers' prize in 1993, to celebrate the Bookers prize 25th anniversary.

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