Forty years after his novel Troubles was first published, Anglo-Irish author J G Farell has posthumously been awarded the “lost” Booker Prize, devised to honour the books published in 1970, but not considered for the prize when its rules were changed. Widely regarded as one of the most talented writers of his generation, Farrell becomes only one of three authors to have won the Booker twice, joining South African-born J M Coetzee and Australian novelist Peter Carey. At the ceremony to commemorate his first win, he remarked that he was going to use the money they’d give him to research “commercial exploitation” and noted that: “Every year, the Booker brothers see their prize wash up a monster more horrid than the last.”
Farrell is often associated with India because of his ‘Empire Trilogy’, which included Troubles, The Siege of Krishnapur, and The Singapore Grip. His last book ‘The Hill Station’ is what he was working on at the time of his tragically early death. Including essays by John Spurling, Margaret Drabble and Malcolm Dean – as well as Farrell’s Indian Diary, written while he was in India conducting his researches for his novels, this book casts considerable light on his experience of and attitude to the country, and is also a very good read.
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