Maragaret Atwood’s “The Testaments” and Bernardine Evaristo’s “Girl, Woman, Other” are the winners of the 2019 Booker Prize. A shared prize is a clear flouting of the rules which state that you can only have one winner. This rule was implemented in 1992 when Michael Ondaatje’s “The English Patient” shared the prize with Barry Unsworth’s “Sacred Hunger.” Call me old-fashioned, but I still believe that a rule is a rule. But this year’s Booker Prize jury clearly felt that rules are meant to be broken, and certainly seems like a cop out to me and a dereliction of their charge to find consensus around one winner. I wonder how many others who follow the Booker Prize agree with me?
Author William Faulkner, who won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1949, was employed as a Hollywood screenwriter, off and on, between 1932 and 1948. He was credited on four films and uncredited on twelve others. He worked with director Howard Hawks on three of his credited films—The Road to Glory, To Have and Have Not, and The Big Sleep. Among his uncredited films were Gunga Din, Drums Along the Mohawk, and Mildred Piece. The screenwriter character W.P. Mayhew, in the Coen Brothers’ film, Barton Fink, was based on Faulkner and played by John Mahoney.