The high achievers of literature

> Canadian author Yann Martel was the first winner of the Man Booker Prize in 2002, the year the Booker Prize was renamed after its sponsor, Man Group plc. The winning novel? Life of Pi.

> One of the bestselling Booker Prize winners is Schindler’s Ark by Thomas Keneally in 1982. It was later adapted into the movie Schindler’s List by Steven Spielberg, which won seven Academy Awards.

> A common question asked of every Man Booker Prize winner is how they would spend their prize money.

Howard Jacobson, who won in 2010 for his novel The Finkler Question, promised his wife a handbag.

> British writer Kazuo Ishiguro, 62, who just won the Nobel Prize in Literature on Oct 5, is known to his friends as “Ish”.

He was born in Nagasaki but left Japan at age five.

Between 1901 and 2016, the average age of a Nobel Literature Laureate is 65.

The youngest laureate so far is Rudyard Kipling of The Jungle Book fame, who was 41 years old when he received the honour in 1907.

The oldest winner is Doris Lessing, who was 88 when she was awarded the literary world’s highest honour in 2007.

> In 1964, French writer and philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre declined the Nobel Prize in Literature. He had always politely refused official honours.

His letter informing the Swedish Academy that he was not keen on the Nobel Prize arrived after the jury had decided to pick him.

> Honours aside, money matters, too. Forbes named J.K. Rowling the highest-paid author in the world this year, nudging out James Patterson – who still holds the Guinness World Record for the most #1 New York Times bestsellers.