Gosh, it's Booker Prize season again!
BELIEVE IT OR NOT, it’s Booker Prize season again! It’s the season that celebrates excellence and the best in contemporary literary fiction. In a change from the past two or three years, only a dozen or so novels will be longlisted for the 2007 Man Booker Prize for Fiction. The publishing world awaits the longlist with bated breath and much eagerness. The longlist will be announced on August 7, 2007.
There are many new novels from former Booker Prize winners (Pat Barker, J.M. Coetzee, Thomas Keneally, Penelope Lively, Ian McEwan, Ben Okri, Michael Ondaatje and Graham Swift) as well as several new ones from past nominees (Martin Amis, Trezza Azzopardi, André Brink, Justin Cartwright, Jim Crace, Sarah Hall, Matthew Kneale, Doris Lessing, Patrick McCabe, Caryl Phillips, Rose Tremain, Fay Weldon and Gerard Woodward). And, of course, let’s not forget such novelists as Chris Abani, Peter Behrens, John Burnside, Clare Clark, Jonathan Coe, Stevie Davies, Robert Edric, Anne Enright, Sebastian Faulks, Susan Fletcher, Margaret Forster, Patrick Gale, Tessa Hadley, Mohsin Hamid, Lloyd Jones, A.L. Kennedy, Hari Kunzru, Benjamin Markovits, Valerie Martin, Charlotte Mendelson, Blake Morrison, Joseph O’Connor, Helen Oyeyemi, Michael Redhill, Nicholas Shakespeare, Wesley Stace, Rupert Thomson, M.G. Vassanji, Jeanette Winterson and Adam Thorpe. Short-story writers Peter Ho Davies and Erica Wagner have written their first novels with The Welsh Girl (2007) and Seizure (2007) respectively; so has Canadian poet Karen Connelly with her first novel, The Lizard Cage (2006) and Welsh poet Owen Sheers with Resistance (2007). David Davidar, the author of The House of Blue Mangoes (2002), has also published his second novel, The Solitude of Emperors (2007). And several first-time authors like Tahmima Anam, Jane Feaver, Derek Johns, Nikita Lalwani, Dinaw Mengestu, Catherine O’Flynn, Sujit Saraf and Tan Twan Eng were especially impressive.
A shortlist of six books will be announced on September 6, 2007. The 2007 Man Booker Prize winner will be announced on October 16, 2007.
So, who do you think should or will be longlisted?
The following are just some of my favourites this year:
1. Winterton Blue (2007) / Trezza Azzopardi
2. The Devil’s Footprints (Jonathan Cape, 2007) / John Burnside
3. The Song Before It Is Sung (Bloomsbury, 2007) / Justin Cartwright
4. The Rain Before It Falls (Viking, 2007) / Jonathan Coe
5. The Lizard Cage (Harvill Secker, 2007) / Karen Connelly
6. The Pesthouse (Picador, 2007) / Jim Crace
7. The Gathering (Jonathan Cape, 2007) / Anne Enright
8. According to Ruth (Harvill Secker, 2007) / Jane Feaver
9. The Carhullan Army (Faber and Faber, 2007) / Sarah Hall
10. The Welsh Girl (Sceptre, 2007) / Peter Ho Davies
11. Mister Pip (John Murray, 2007) / Lloyd Jones
12. My Revolutions (Hamish Hamilton, 2007) / Hari Kunzru
13. Consequences (Fig Tree, 2007) / Penelope Lively
14. On Chesil Beach (Jonathan Cape, 2007) / Ian McEwan
15. When We Were Bad (Picador, 2007) / Charlotte Mendelson
16. Divisadero (Bloomsbury, 2007) / Michael Ondaatje
17. Consolation (William Heinemann, 2007) / Michael Redhill
18. Resistance (Faber and Faber, 2007) / Owen Sheers
19. The Gift of Rain (Myrmidon, 2007) / Tan Twan Eng
20. Seizure (Faber and Faber, 2007) / Erica Wagner