The late, much-loved novelist Dame Beryl Bainbridge was shortlisted five times for the Booker Prize, but never actually won. Despite many other literary accolades, the press’s phrase – the ‘Booker bridesmaid’ – stuck. No author has ever been shortlisted as many times for the prize.


In her honour, the Booker Prize Foundation has created a special prize, The Man Booker Best of Beryl, and asks the public to consider which of her five shortlisted novels deserves the accolade. Her shortlisted books were The Dressmaker (1973); The Bottle Factory Outing (1974); An Awfully Big Adventure (1990); Every Man for Himself (1996) and Master Georgie (1998) all of which are now published in paperback by Abacus.

Beryl Bainbridge was an author and actress. She wrote seventeen novels, two travel books and five plays for stage and television. Her novel Master Georgie won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize and Every Man for Himself was awarded the Whitbread Novel of the Year Prize. She won the Guardian Fiction Prize with The Bottle Factory Outing and the Whitbread Prize with Injury Time. The Bottle Factory Outing, Sweet William and The Dressmaker have all been adapted for film, as was An Awfully Big Adventure, which starred Hugh Grant and Alan Rickman. Beryl’s final masterpiece, The Girl in the Polka Dot Dress will be published by Little Brown on 31 May 2011.

You can vote for Beryl HERE