Julian Barnes won the Man Booker Prize for Fiction 2011 Tuesday night for his novel, "The Sense of an Ending."
This was the fourth time a novel by Barnes was short-listed for the prize.
The Guardian reports that the chair of this year's judges, Stella Rimington, said the novel had "the markings of a classic of English Literature. It is exquisitely written, subtly plotted and reveals new depths with each reading."
"It is a very readable book, if I may use that word, but readable not only once but twice and even three times," she continued. "It is incredibly concentrated. Crammed into this short space is a great deal of information which you don't get out of a first read."
The announcement came after a bitter run-up to the prize, with the judges being accused of over-valuing readability, populism and commercial viability, the Guardian states.
Barnes's website describes the novel -- published in the United States by Knopf -- as a, "story of a man coming to terms with the mutable past."
The New York Times reports that "The Sense of an Ending" is Barnes's 10th novel.
In the days leading up to the award ceremony, bookmakers in Britain had decisively chosen Mr. Barnes as the likely winner, but similar predictions in the past proved unreliable. Some observers suggested that the judging panel would be unlikely to pick Mr. Barnes because of his dismissive attitude toward the award in the past (he once referred to the Booker as “posh bingo.”)
The Man Booker Prize is Britain's most famous literary award and comes with it a check for £50,000, or about $78,000.