Special award for 'Booker bridesmaid' Bainbridge

A FIVE-TIME loser of the country's most prominent literary prize will finally be recognised, almost a year after her death.

Dame Beryl Bainbridge, who died last July, was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize five times but never won.

Organisers are now asking readers to vote for one of her five shortlisted novels to be awarded a special prize called the Man Booker Best of Beryl.

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The prize's literary director Ion Trewin said: "Dame Beryl was a very gracious non-winner and no Man Booker dinner was complete without her.

"She may have been the eternal Booker bridesmaid but, with this special prize, we are delighted to be able finally to crown her a Booker bride by letting the public choose what they believe to be the best of her books."

Bainbridge wrote 17 novels, two travel books and five plays for stage and television. Her shortlisted books were The Dressmaker (1973); The Bottle Factory Outing (1974); An Awfully Big Adventure (1990); Every Man for Himself (1996) and Master Georgie (1998).

Her daughter, Jojo Davies, said: "Beryl did want to win the Booker despite her protests to the contrary."

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