15 October 2016

The Booker Prize Winners, 1900-1968

Posted by John Clegg

If the Booker Prize had begun in 1900 - rather than in 1969 - who would have won each year? This is a provisional set of answers: if you have better suggestions, please email us, or tweet us using the hashtag #Booker1900. (Years where the winner seems particularly unlikely we have marked with a bold exclamation mark: [!]) We will revisit this list periodically. We've decided to go with the post-2013 Booker rules, so any English-language novel is eligible. There's a slight bias towards not giving the prize to the same author too quickly after a victory, but Hilary Mantel's astonishing double Booker is pipped substantially here by Woolf's and Wharton's runs. Virginia Woolf and Doris Lessing both manage the impressive trick of winning the Booker for their debuts. Graham Greene wins the Bad Luck Booker award, for publishing all his best books in the same year as better books by different authors. It was still definitely a wrench to award the 1955 Booker to Lolita over The Quiet American. And who knows what the 1933 judges were thinking.

1900 Lord Jim, Joseph Conrad

1901 Kim, Rudyard Kipling

1902 The Hound of the Baskervilles, Arthur Conan Doyle [!]

1903 The Ambassadors, Henry James

1904 The Golden Bowl, Henry James

1905 The House of Mirth, Edith Wharton

1906 The Jungle, Upton Sinclair

1907 The Secret Agent, Joseph Conrad

1908 A Room with a View, E.M. Forster

1909 Tono-Bungay, H.G. Wells

1910 Howard's End, E.M. Forster

1911 Ethan Frome, Edith Wharton

1912 Mrs. Ames, E.F. Benson [!]

1913 The Village in the Jungle, Leonard Woolf

1914 The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists, Robert Tressell [!]

1915 The Voyage Out, Virginia Woolf

1916 A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, James Joyce

1917 Summer, Edith Wharton [!]

1918 My Antonia, Willa Cather

1919 The Moon and Sixpence, W. Somerset Maugham

1920 The Age of Innocence, Edith Wharton

1921 [NO AWARD]

1922 Ulysses, James Joyce

1923 Kangaroo, D.H. Lawrence [!]

1924 A Passage to India, E.M. Forster

1925 Mrs. Dalloway, Virginia Woolf

1926 Lolly Willowes, Sylvia Townsend Warner

1927 Mr. Fortune's Maggot, Sylvia Townsend Warner

1928 Orlando, Virginia Woolf

1929 A Farewell to Arms, Ernest Hemingway

1930 The Maltese Falcon, Dashiell Hammett

1931 The Waves, Virginia Woolf

1932 Brave New World, Aldous Huxley

1933 Lost Horizon, James Hilton [!]

1934 Tropic of Cancer, Henry Miller

1935 Mr. Norris Changes Trains, Christopher Isherwood

1936 Absalom, Absalom!, William Faulkner

1937 Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, Winifred Watson

1938 The Death of the Heart, Elizabeth Bowen

1939 Finnegans Wake, James Joyce

1940 The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, Carson McCullers

1941 Between the Acts, Virginia Woolf

1942 Put Out More Flags, Evelyn Waugh [!]

1943 The Ministry of Fear, Graham Greene [!]

1944 Dangling Man, Saul Bellow

1945 The Pursuit of Love, Nancy Mitford

1946 Delta Wedding, Eudora Welty

1947 The Pearl, John Steinbeck

1948 The Corner That Held Them, Sylvia Townsend Warner

1949 Nineteen Eighty Four, George Orwell

1950 The Grass is Singing, Doris Lessing

1951 The Day of the Triffids, John Wyndham

1952 Invisible Man, Ralph Ellison

1953 The Long Goodbye, Raymond Chandler

1954 My Life In The Bush of Ghosts, Amos Tutola

1955 Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov

1956 Giovanni's Room, James Baldwin

1957 Owls Do Cry, Janet Frame

1958 Our Man in Havana, Graham Greene

1959 The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz, Mordecai Richler

1960 The Ballad of Peckham Rye, Muriel Spark

1961 Franny and Zooey, J.D. Salinger

1962 The Golden Notebook, Doris Lessing

1963 The Spy Who Came In From the Cold, John Le Carre

1964 Herzog, Saul Bellow

1965 The British Museum Is Falling Down, David Lodge

1966 Wide Sargasso Sea, Jean Rhys

1967 The Third Policeman, Flann O'Brien

1968 A Small Town in Germany, John Le Carre [!]