In a surprise win, Anne Enright has nabbed this year’s Booker Prize for The Gathering. Like 2005 Booker Prize winner John Banville, Ms. Enright is Irish. Which I suppose means that if you want to win the Booker, you should probably write an uncompromising novel about dysfunctional people and claim that you’re Irish. Then when you win the Booker, you can laugh in the timbre of a supervillain on the verge of taking over the world and respond in a non-Irish dialect, “I had you fooled! Suckers!” But I understand that Enright is genuinely Irish, as is Banville. And I suppose that the Booker people are very careful about ferreting out impostors. I understand that Kiran Desai is not Irish, although I have a feeling that she’d like to be.
In any event, the upshot is that, if you want to win the Booker, it’s good to be Irish. At least every other year. Look out for an Irish winner in 2009!