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Booker Prize-Winning Author John Berger Dead at 90
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London: Booker prize-winning English novelist and pioneering art critic John Berger, has passed away at the age of 90. A lifelong Marxist intellectual, Berger died at his home in the Paris suburb of Antony on Monday.
The writer, who won the Booker Prize in 1972 for his novel "G", famously gave away half the prize money to the radical African-American movement, the Black Panthers. He is equally famous for his BBC series "Ways of Seeing" that brought a new political perspective to art criticism. "My father #JohnBerger died today. Neither scared nor reckless, but focused, curious & eager to find out the rest of the story. A true writer," his filmmaker son Jacob wrote on Twitter.
Berger's director friend Simon McBurne also paid tribute to the author calling him his "guide, philosopher and friend". "Listener, grinder of lenses, poet, painter, seer. My Guide. Philosopher. Friend. John Berger left us this morning. Now you are everywhere," McBurne tweeted.
Born in Hackney, North London, Berger began his career as a painter. He eventually turned to writing and penned everything from poetry to screenplays, writings on photography, besides exploring issues like exploitation of migrant workers and the Palestinian struggle for statehood.
Artist David Shrigley called Berger "the best ever writer on art", and author Jeanette Winterson praised him as "an energy source in a depleted world."
"Goodbye John Berger. You will be greatly missed. The ever best writer on art," Shrigley tweeted. "John Berger gone. That is hard. He was an energy source in a depleted world," Winterson wrote. Tom Overton, who is writing Berger's biography, said the writer "let us know that art would enrich our lives". Berger's death was also mourned by actress Sarah Silverman.
"Oh wow RIP John Berger. Ways Of Seeing altered my perspective and gave me confidence in said perspective. It changed everything," Silverman tweeted. Writer Dawn Foster wrote, "Reminder that when John Berger won the 1972 Booker prize, he gave half the prize money to the Black Panthers."
British poet Anthony Anaxagorou tweeted, "A poem I wrote featured in The Long White Thread of Words to celebrate John Berger's 90th birthday."
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