Howard Jacobson's Man Booker Prize for Fiction-winning book, The Finkler Question, opens with the sentence, “He should have seen it coming.”
“The only inevitability I see about it is that finally I've won it. Often I thought I was never going to win it; never thought that I'll eventually win it this time,” admits Jacobson. Indeed, the Booker for The Finkler Question has surprised many.
That a “seriously funny book,” as it has been described in literary circles, has won the Booker has raised many eyebrows. Speaking from London in a telephone interview, Jacobson is at a loss why. “I don't know why they're surprised. I'm not the first comic novelist to get the Prize. Nor have the past recipients been all dark, serious writers. There was Salman Rushdie, too,” he says.
Then he analyses the cause: “Maybe, it's because I've such a vast volume of comic novels under my belt. But pray, it's not my first book. I've been writing for the past 27 years. Seriously speaking, I'm happy I make people laugh but I don't make them go wild laughing. There is always an issue involved, there are other sentiments.”
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