Barry short­listed for Booker award


Bray People - - Loreto (bray) Debs Ball - Mary FOG­A­RTY

AC­CLAIMED Ir­ish writer, Se­bas­tian Barry, who lives in Ti­na­hely with his fam­ily, was in Bray last week af­ter the news broke that he had been short­listed for this year’s Man Booker prize for his novel ‘The Se­cret Scrip­ture’.

‘You never yet used to it,’ said a vis­i­bly de­lighted Barry, hav­ing been short­listed for the 2005 prize for his WWI book ‘A Long Long Way’.

On whether he is rev­el­ling in the nom­i­na­tion it­self or looking for­ward to find out if he brings the prize to Wick­low for the sec­ond time af­ter Bray woman Anne En­right’s victory last year for ‘The Gath­er­ing’, Barry is dis­arm­ingly hum­ble. ‘ That’s Oc­to­ber 14, and this is now!’

Not let­ting the happy news go to his head, the au­thor was sign­ing books, hav­ing his pic­ture taken and talk­ing to press for sev­eral hours last Tues­day af­ter the list was re­leased. Staff of Dubray Books were also thrilled to have their guest in store for so long and ea­ger to con­grat­u­late him on mak­ing the fi­nal set.

‘I’m shocked and de­lighted,’ he said of the news. ‘It’s only three years since I was first short­listed. It will take me a few days to get my head around this.’

Barry has been named by book­ies as the 2/1 favourite to win the pres­ti­gious lit­er­ary com­pe­ti­tion. The other short­listed books are Linda Grant’s ‘The Clothes on Their Backs’, Steve Toltz’s ‘A Frac­tion of the Whole’, Ami­tav Ghosh’s ‘Sea of Pop­pies’, Philip Hen­sher’s ‘The North­ern Clemency’, and Aravind Adiga’s ‘The White Tiger’.

The Booker prize will be awarded in Lon­don on Oc­to­ber 14, with a cash prize of ¤ 62,300 and at least 10 times that amount in the ex­tra sales gen­er­ated.

The plot of ‘The Se­cret Scrip­ture’ cen­tres around an old woman called Roseanne who has spent most of her life in Roscom­mon Men­tal Hospi­tal, de­spite the fact that she was sane.

Barry spoke of his own great aunt, who was put away in Ire­land in the ‘40s ‘ for moral rea­sons.’

‘In a way it’s her book,’ he said. ‘She is the se­cret au­thor of ‘ The Se­cret Scrip­ture.’

Se­bas­tian Barry in Dubray Books on the day of be­ing short­listed for the Man Booker Prize.

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