Decided victor of the prize "Golden Booker"

Michael Ondaatje

Sri Lankan-born Canadian poet, essayist and novelist Michael Ondaatje's bestselling novel The English Patient - which moves between a nurse tending a horribly burned man in an Italian villa at the end of World War II and a tragic love affair from his past - has been crowned best victor of the Booker prize of the last 50 years. The five novels were then voted on by the public, which awarded the "Golden" Booker Prize to Ondaatje. It was made into a 1996 movie starring Ralph Fiennes and Juliette Binoche that won nine Academy Awards.

The victor of the special one-off competition held to mark the Man Booker Prize's 50th anniversary celebrations was chosen by the public.

The writer has won the Booker prize for the English patient in 1992.

A panel of judges selected five books from the 51 winners of the Booker Prize, with one from each decade. He paid tribute to the late "The English Patient" film director, Anthony Minghella, "who I suspect had something to do with the result of this vote".

Judge Kamila Shamsie said the story was truly "transformative" as she explained why she had selected it as the victor of the 90s.

Judge Kamila Shamsie said it was "that rare novel which gets under your skin". "The English Patient", which follows the lives of four characters brought together during World War II, told through the morphine-affected memories of a severely burned patient, was a Booker Prize victor in 1992. "It's intricately and rewardingly structured, beautifully written, with great humanity written into every page", said Shamsie, as reported by the Guardian. The book won the Governor General's Literary Award for fiction.

Ondaatje became the first Canadian to win the Booker Prize sharing the 1992 prize with British author Barry Unsworth and his historical novel "Sacred Hunger".

Last year's victor, "Lincoln in the Bardo", by George Saunders, was selected by the poet Hollie McNish.

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