British author and columnist Howard Jacobson won the Man Booker Prize for Fiction for his novel "The Finkler Question" Tuesday, it has been announced.

The Booker Prize for Fiction was first awarded in 1969 and Man, an alternative investment management business, was announced as the sponsor of the prize in April 2002.

"Wolf Hall" by Hilary Mantel won the Man Booker Prize 2009 and it has now sold more than half a million copies in the United Kingdom alone.

Jacobson, 68, previously made the long list for the prize -- in 2006 for "Kalooki Nights" and in 2002 for "Who's Sorry" Now -- but has never before been shortlisted.

The presenters of the award described "The Finkler Question" as "a novel about love, loss and male friendship, and explores what it means to be Jewish today."

Andrew Motion, chairman of the judges, announced the winner at the awards dinner at London's Guildhall, which was broadcast by the BBC.

Peter Clarke, chief executive of Man, presented Jacobson with a check for nearly $79,000.

"'The Finkler Question' is a marvelous book; very funny, of course, but also very clever, very sad and very subtle. It is all that it seems to be and much more than it seems to be. A completely worthy winner of this great prize," Motion said.