Ten facts about the Man Booker Prize

Ten facts about the Man Booker Prize

The Man Booker Prize 2015 will be awarded tonight (Tuesday). Here, The Bookseller's charts and data editor Kiera O'Brien takes a closer look at the statistics and facts behind the award.

1. The youngest Booker winner was Eleanor Catton, who won in 2013 aged 28. The oldest was William Golding in 1980, who won aged 69 with Rites of Passage (Faber & Faber). If Anne Tyler wins this year she will become the oldest ever Booker winner, at 73 years old.

2. Catton also had the longest winning book - The Luminaries (Granta) is 832 pages long. The shortest book to win is Penelope Fitzgerald’s Offshore (Fourth Estate), at 144 pages, which won in 1979.

3. The only Booker winner to take the Official Top 50 number one (since Nielsen BookScan records began in 1998) is Bring Up the Bodies (Fourth Estate) by Hilary Mantel, in May 2013 for one week.

4. Yann Martel’s Life of Pi (Canongate) is the biggest-selling Booker winner to date and the only one to sell over a million copies, at 1.6 million copies sold. Wolf Hall (Fourth Estate) by Mantel is not far behind on 974,000 copies sold. Wolf Hall also sold the most copies in the week of its win, at 17,703, more than any other winner since Nielsen BookScan records began in 1998.

5. Richard Flanagan's 2014 winning book The Narrow Road to the Deep North (Vintage) has sold almost 178,000 copies in his native Australia since its publication in November 2014. This is almost the same number of copies sold as in the UK, which has a population three times the size of Australia's.

6. Before its win, Kiran Desai’s The Inheritance of Loss (Penguin) had sold the smallest amount of all Booker winners pre-win, at just 2,397 copies, in 2006. It has now sold over 180,000 units.

7. 17 Booker winners have been female, 31 male. 27 winners have been British citizens.

8. DBC Pierre, Aravind Adiga, Arundhati Roy and Keri Hulme won with their debut novels. Catton, Desai, Salman Rushdie and Martel won with their second novels. Iris Murdoch wrote 19 novels before winning in 1978, the most any winner has written before winning.

9. The biggest selling book of the Man Booker 2015 shortlist is Tyler's A Spool of Blue Thread, which has sold in excess of 62,000 through Nielsen BookScan so far.

10. In 1975 there were 83 submissions to the prize, and just two books on the shortlist. The winner was Ruth Prawer Jhabvala's Heat and Dust (Abacus). The other book on the shortlist was Thomas Keneally's Gossip from the Forest (Sceptre). Keneally, who has been shortlisted for the prize four times, went on to win in 1982 with Schindler's Ark (Sceptre).