The ceremony was broadcast live and virtually Wednesday night (3 November) from inside the BBC’s Radio Theatre in London, with only the finalists and other special guests in attendance.

The South African writer had been shortlisted for the third time this year, after being a finalist in 2003 and 2010.

Published in April by Europa Editions, the novel is set near Pretoria, South Africa, and tells the story of three siblings who lose touch after the death of their matriarch. Over the next three decades, they are brought together again by three additional funerals, and along the way they reflect on the resentments and hopes of their home country as the former apartheid state evolves.

The Booker Prize is the United Kingdom’s most prestigious literary award. Once limited to novelists living in the British Commonwealth, it has been open since 2013 to any novel written in English and published in the U.K