Tuesday, July 29, 2008

2008 Man Booker Prize for Fiction Longlist

FIVE FIRST-TIME NOVELISTS have made it into the 2008 Man Booker Prize for Fiction longlist this year: Aravind Adiga, Gaynor Arnold, Mohammed Hanif, Tom Rob Smith and Steve Toltz. There are two Australians: Christina Stead Prize-winner Michelle de Kretser and Steve Toltz. A.S. Byatt called The Lost Dog “the best novel I have read for a long time.” Will both the Australian books be on the shortlist this year? There are a couple of literary heavyweights: former Booker Prize-shortlisted Sebastian Barry and former Booker Prize-winners John Berger and Salman Rushdie. And a couple of strong contenders: Amitav Ghosh, Orange Prize-winner Linda Grant, Philip Hensher and Joseph O’Neill. John Berger won the Booker Prize 36 years ago, in 1972, for G., while Salman Rushdie won the Booker of the Bookers for Midnight’s Children just only recently. Both Jonathan Cape and Fourth Estate have two books on the longlist. This year’s longlist was selected from 112 entries: 103 novels were submitted by publishers and nine called in by the judges. I wonder what the other 99 novels were?

1. The White Tiger (Atlantic, 2008) / Aravind Adiga
2. Girl In a Blue Dress (Tindal Street, 2008) / Gaynor Arnold
3. The Secret Scripture (Faber & Faber, 2008) / Sebastian Barry
4. From A to X: A Story in Letters (Verso, 2008) / John Berger
5. The Lost Dog (Chatto & Windus, 2008) / Michelle de Kretser
6. Sea of Poppies (John Murray, 2008) / Amitav Ghosh
7. The Clothes on Their Backs (Virago, 2008) / Linda Grant
8. A Case of Exploding Mangoes (Jonathan Cape, 2008) / Mohammed Hanif
9. The Northern Clemency (Fourth Estate, 2008) / Philip Hensher
10. Netherland (Fourth Estate, 2008) / Joseph O’Neill
11. The Enchantress of Florence (Jonathan Cape, 2008) / Salman Rushdie
12. Child 44 (Simon & Schuster, 2008) / Tom Rob Smith
13. A Fraction of the Whole (Hamish Hamilton, 2008) / Steve Toltz

Chair of judges Michael Portillo commented that “With a notable degree of consensus, the five Man Booker judges decided on their longlist of 13 books. The judges are pleased with the geographical balance of the longlist with writers from Pakistan, India, Australia, Ireland and the U.K. We also are happy with the interesting mix of books, five first novels and two novels by former winners. The list covers an extraordinary variety of writing. Still, two qualities emerge this year: large-scale narrative and the striking use of humour.”

A six-book shortlist will be announced on September 9, 2008, while the winner of one of the world’s greatest literary accolades will be announced on October 14, 2008



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for your support, Eric!

One of the longlistees

Wednesday, July 30, 2008 4:19:00 AM  

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