London: Twenty-seven years after his first nomination, Julian Barnes has won the Man Booker Prize for his novella 'The Sense of an Ending'.Barnes, 65, triumphed in the fourth attempt, reports

The 150-page novella is about a middle-aged man looking back on his younger days.

He was shortlisted in 1984 for 'Flaubert's Parrot' but Anita Brookner won it for 'Hotel Du Lac'. In 1998, 'England, England' was nominated, but lost out to Ian McEwan's 'Amsterdam'. His novel, 'Arthur and George', was in the running in 2005, but John Banville walked away with the prize for 'The Sea'.

Barnes's prose was the bookmakers' favourite, and the judges on Tuesday night took barely half-an-hour to reach a decision.

“We thought it was a beautifully written book, and a book that spoke to humankind in the 21st century,” Dame Stella Rimington, chairperson of the judging panel, was quoted as saying.

She said the book “has the markings of a classic of English Literature”.

While accepting the award, Barnes said: 'I would like to thank the judges - who I won't hear a word against - for their wisdom, and the sponsors for their cheque.'
He likened himself to Argentinian writer Jorge Luis Borges, who was considered by the Nobel Prize committee year after year but always overlooked.

When asked, as he continually was, why he had never won the Nobel Prize, Borges used to reply that there was a cottage industry devoted to not giving Borges the Nobel Prize.

“Over the last years, in occasional moments of mild paranoia, I have wondered whether there wasn't some similar, sinister organisation operating over here,” said Barnes.