The Other Booker Prize tells a narrative story of Abigail Pearlmuter from Tel Aviv, who insists on doing “what is right” though sometimes, as she says, “a little bit of wrong is also right”. She incarnates what many people would like but don’t dare to be because, mostly, they don’t feel comfortable breaking social patterns. A story filled with puns, plays on words and peppered with wit, this book is guaranteed to delight. (ISBN: 978-0-9870042-3-9)
The book is divided into 3 sections:
The adventure begins.
After spending two years of study in a famous art school amongst aspiring artists and other bohemians, Abigail has an “epiphany”. She decides to leave and travels the world before she meets her soul mate and they settle in Cape Town, South Africa.
Abigail is a linguistically challenged outsider when she settles in South Africa and brings up children in a foreign language. It includes some amusing observations on South African customs.
Abigail dabbles into writing. As the essence of her existence is words and storytelling, living in a culture different to the one she was brought up in allows for a great sense of fun, with some sobering experiences when she realizes she can never get the Booker prize – which is obviously what prompts the title of the book.
The motifs of the novel are fairness, honour, communication, creativity, and, above all, forms of Otherness: Otherness while travelling in foreign lands; cultural Otherness during immigration, and linguistic Otherness as a foreign author writing in a marginal language and reflecting on issues from The Margin.
Though some of these themes in life may be sad at times, in the book there is no negativity, ‘Abigail’ does not “do” negativity.