The 2014 Man Booker Prize has been won by Australian novelist Richard Flanagan for The Narrow Road to the Deep North , a novel inspired by his father’s experiences as a Japanese POW. The prize is worth £50,000. Flanagan is the first Tasmanian novelist to win the prize. Philosopher AC Grayling, who chaired the panel of judges, hailed it as more than simply a war novel. “It is not about people shooting one another and bombs going off, it is much more about people, their experience and their relationships. What’s interesting about it is that it is very nuanced, as if everyone on the Burma railway, both sides of the story, were victims.”
While Flanagan’s fellow Australian, novelist Peter Carey feels that the inclusion of American novels in the Prize is a bad idea, English poet and critic Andrew Motion told the BBC that the rule changes were a good thing. “We can all be in it together.” Both Motion and fellow BBC panelist Gaby Wood felt that it was strong and diverse short list, and both wanted How To Be Both by Ali Smith to win. Motion and Wood considered Flanagan’s novel a traditional book, and both thought that it will be a popular winner. Wood praised the novel for its cinematic feeling.