The Man Booker International Prize presentation took place in Oxford last night, Thursday the 28th of June, and the prize was awarded to Chinua Achebe. Reception drinks were served at The Bodleian Library, followed by a presentation at the Sheldonian. Christ Church Custodians then walked the guests (over 200) through the streets of Oxford to Christ Church. Christ Church Cathedral Choir sung as guests entered the quad and a Banquet Dinner was then served.
The Man Booker International Prize 2007 came to Christ Church on Thursday 28th June, following the awards ceremony itself in the Sheldonian theatre and reception drinks served at The Bodleian Library. Christ Church Custodians then walked the guests (over 200) through the streets of Oxford to Christ Church. Guests were welcomed by the Christ Church Cathedral Choir, director Dr Stephen Darlington. Christ Church Cathedral Choir sang on the Hall stairs (see photo), The Vice-Chancellor, Dr John Hood, gave an address of welcome and over 200 guests enjoyed head chef Roland Depit's fine dinner of Smoked Salmon Bavarois, English Lamb and Summer Pudding. Christ Church itself was 'dressed overall' with flags flying, flambard beacons in Tom Quad and lavish and inventive lighting by 'gobos' and 'birdies'!
The prize, already regarded in only its second year as having 'achieved the status of an authentic world award' was won by the Nigerian writer Chinua Achebe, who is best known for his first novel, Things Fall Apart, written in 1958, and Anthills of the Savannah, shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 1987. It was announced that Chinua Achebe had won the prize on 13 June. The prize differs from the annual Man Booker Prize for Fiction in that it highlights one writer's continued creativity, development and overall contribution to fiction on the world stage. Both prizes strive to recognise and reward the finest fiction.
Chinua Achebe, unable to travel because of poor health, was represented at the awards ceremony and celebratory banquet in Christ Church by his son, daughter and grandson. He nevertheless addressed the awards panel and assembled guests by video link.
The event was held at the House as a consequence of our fruitful association with the Sunday Times Oxford Literary Festival which is extending its presence by staging literary events, of this and other kinds, throughout the year.
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