Booker Prize Short List 2019

Another year, another change to the Booker Prize name! Man Group has ceased its eighteen year association with the prize, and the new sponsors, Crankstart, have not added their name, leaving us with the much more manageable Booker Prize.

The short list has been announced, so get your skates on and reserve them all through Blue Mountains Library. There are only six, so you know you can do it! The winner for 2019 award will be announced on October 14.

The Testaments  by Margaret Atwood

When the van door slammed on Offred’s future at the end of The Handmaid’s Tale, readers had no way of telling what lay ahead. With The Testaments, the wait is over.

Margaret Atwood’s sequel picks up the story more than 15 years after Offred stepped into the unknown, with the explosive testaments of three female narrators from Gilead.

Ducks, Newburyport  Lucy Ellmann

LATTICING one cherry pie after another, an Ohio housewife tries to bridge the gaps between reality and the torrent of meaningless info that is the United States of America. She worries about her children, her dead parents, African elephants, the bedroom rituals of “happy couples”, Weapons of Mass Destruction, and how to hatch an abandoned wood pigeon egg. Is there some trick to surviving survivalists? School shootings? Medical debts? Franks ’n’ beans?

A scorching indictment of America’s barbarity, past and present, and a lament for the way we are sleepwalking into environmental disaster, Ducks, Newburyport is a heresy, a wonder—and a revolution in the novel.

Girl, Woman, Other Bernardine Evaristo

Teeming with energy, humour and heart, a love song to black Britain told by twelve very different women.

Teeming with life and crackling with energy, told through many distinctive voices, this novel follows the lives of twelve very different characters. Mostly women, black and British, they tell the stories of their families, friends and lovers, across the country and through the years. Joyfully polyphonic and sparklingly contemporary, Girl, Woman, Other is a gloriously new kind of history, a novel of our times: celebratory, ever-dynamic and utterly irresistible.

An Orchestra of Minorities Chigozie Obioma

A contemporary twist on the Odyssey, An Orchestra of Minorities is narrated by the chi, or spirit of a young poultry farmer named Chinonso. His life is set off course when he sees a woman who is about to jump off a bridge. Horrified by her recklessness, he hurls two of his prized chickens off the bridge. The woman, Ndali, is stopped in her tracks. Chinonso and Ndali fall in love but she is from an educated and wealthy family. When her family objects to the union on the grounds that he is not her social equal, he sells most of his possessions to attend college in Cyprus. But when he arrives in Cyprus, he discovers that he has been utterly duped by the young Nigerian who has made the arrangements for him. Penniless, homeless, we watch as he gets further and further away from his dream and from home.

Quichotte Salman Rushdie

Quichotte, a travelling salesman obsessed with TV, is on a quest for love. Unfortunately, his daily diet of reality TV, sitcoms, films, soaps, comedies and dramas has distorted his ability to separate fantasy from reality. He wishes an imaginary son into existence, while obsessively writing love letters to a celebrity he knows only through his TV.

10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World  Elif Shafak

In the first minute following her death, Tequila Leila’s consciousness began to ebb, slowly and steadily, like a tide receding from the shore. Her brain cells, having run out of blood, were now completely deprived of oxygen. But they did not shut down. Not right away…’ Our brains stay active for ten minutes after our heart stops beating. For Tequila Leila, each minute brings with it a new memory- growing up with her father and his two wives in a grand old house in a quiet Turkish town; watching the women gossip and wax their legs while the men went to mosque; sneaking cigarettes and Western magazines on her way home from school; running away to Istanbul to escape an unwelcome marriage; falling in love with a student who seeks shelter from a riot in the brothel where she works. Most importantly, each memory reminds Leila of the five friends she met along the way – the friends who are now desperately trying to find her.

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