Booker Prize taken by outsider Enright

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Dublin writer Anne Enright, the surprise winner of the £50,000 Man Booker Prize, has described her novel The Gathering as ‘the intellectual equivalent of a Hollywood weepie’.

She added: ‘When people pick up a book they want something that will cheer them up, in that case they shouldn’t really pick up my book.’

The former Irish TV producer’s fourth novel was a rank outsider in a battle considered to be between Ian McEwan’s On Chesil Beach and Mister Pip by New Zealand author Lloyd Jones.

The Gathering concerns a large Dublin family, featuring suicide and sexual abuse, and has sold just 3,000 copies.

Sir Howard Davies, director of the London School of Economics and chairman of the judging panel, said: ‘We found it a very powerful, uncomfortable and even, at times, an angry book.’

He described the sexual imagery as ‘graphic’ but said people would find it a ‘very readable and satisfying novel’.

‘We think she is an impressive novelist, we expect to hear a lot more from her.’

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