"'Once,' says Banville, 'in the 1930s, the Inland Revenue did an investigation into Yeats's tax returns because they could not believe someone so famous could have such small sales. One should never allow oneself to be discouraged by small sales. As Pinter says, I stuck to my guns.'"
Banville is a masterly prose stylist. The Guardian has several good articles about him winning the Booker, including this colourful piece by the chairman of the judges. Considering the public dispute he, John Sutherland, had with Banville (see interview above) it was as Banville says "large" of Sutherland to cast the chairman's deciding vote in his favour.
See this Guardian report for a short "extract" from John Banville's prize winning book The Sea.