Category Archives: Man Booker Prize

Man Booker Prize 2017 Longlist

The longlist has been announced,

and it is time to get borrowing!

Put your copies on reserve now, and start your Man Booker reading journey. The shortlist will be announced on September 13th, with the winner announced on October 17th.


4 3 2 1 by Paul Auster (US)

On March 3, 1947, in the maternity ward of Beth Israel Hospital in Newark, New Jersey, Archibald Isaac Ferguson, the one and only child of Rose and Stanley Ferguson, is born. From that single beginning, Ferguson’s life will take four simultaneous and independent fictional paths.

Days Without End by Sebastian Barry (Ireland)

Two-time Man Booker Shortlisted Author Costa Award Winner Thomas McNulty, barely seventeen and having fled the Great Famine, signs up for the U.S. Army in the 1850s. With his brother in arms, John Cole, Thomas fights in the Indian Wars and, ultimately, the Civil War. Orphans of terrible hardships, the men find these days to be vivid and alive, despite the horrors they see and are complicit in.

History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund (US)

Linda has an idiosyncratic home life: her parents live in abandoned commune cabins in northern Minnesota. Her understanding of the world comes from her observations at school, where her teacher is accused of possessing child pornography, and from watching the seemingly ordinary life of a family she babysits for.

Exit West by Mohsin Hamid (Pakistan-UK)

In a city swollen by refugees but still mostly at peace, or at least not yet openly at war, Saeed and Nadia share a cup of coffee. They try not to notice the sound of bombs, the radio announcing new laws, the public executions.

Solar Bones by Mike McCormack (Ireland)

Once a year, on All Souls’ Day, it is said in Ireland that the dead may return. Solar Bones is the story of one such visit. Marcus Conway, a middle-aged engineer, turns up one afternoon at his kitchen table and considers the events that took him away and then brought him home again.

Reservoir 13 by Jon McGregor (UK)

From the award-winning author of If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things and Even the Dogs. An extraordinary novel of cumulative power and grace, Reservoir 13 explores the rhythms of the natural world and the repeated human gift for violence, unfolding over thirteen years as the aftershocks of a stranger’s tragedy refuse to subside.

Elmet by Fiona Mozley (UK)

Elmet is a lyrical commentary on contemporary English society and one family’s precarious place in it, as well as an exploration of how deep the bond between father and child can go.

The Ministry Of Utmost Happiness by Arundhati Roy (India)

The Ministry of Utmost Happiness takes us on a journey of many years-the story spooling outwards from the cramped neighbourhoods of Old Delhi into the burgeoning new metropolis and beyond, to the Valley of Kashmir and the forests of Central India, where war is peace and peace is war, and where, from time to time, ‘normalcy’ is declared.

Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders (US)

A novel about Abraham Lincoln and the death of his eleven year old son, Willie, at the dawn of the Civil War. Unfolding in the graveyard over a single night, narrated by a dazzling chorus of voices, Lincoln in the Bardo is a thrilling exploration of death, grief and the deeper meaning and possibilities of life.

Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie (UK-Pakistan)

 From an internationally acclaimed novelist, the suspenseful and heartbreaking story of a family ripped apart by secrets and driven to pit love against loyalty, with devastating consequences. Practical-minded Isma has spent the years since her mothers death watching out for her twin brother and sister in their North London home.

Autumn by Ali Smith (UK)

Autumn. Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness. That’s what it felt like for Keats in 1819. How about Autumn 2016? Daniel is a century old. Elisabeth, born in 1984, has her eye on the future. The United Kingdom is in pieces, divided by a historic once-in-a-generation summer. Love is won, love is lost. Hope is hand in hand with hopelessness. The seasons roll round, as ever. Ali Smith’s new novel is a meditation on a world growing ever more bordered and exclusive, on what richness and worth are, on what harvest means.

Swing Time by Zadie Smith (UK)

Swing Time is a story about friendship and music and true identity, how they shape us and how we can survive them. Moving from north-west London to West Africa, it is an exuberant dance to the music of time. Two brown girls dream of being dancers – but only one, Tracey, has talent.

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead (US)

Cora is a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia and life is hellish for all the slaves. Caesar, a recent arrival from Virginia, tells her about the Underground Railroad, and they plot their escape. Matters do not go as planned – Cora kills a young white boy who tries to capture her – but they manage to find a station and head north.



>Man Booker in Sydney


How exciting for our neck of the woods!

The University of Sydney will host the press conference to announce the Judges’ list of finalists for the Man Booker International Prize on 30th March, and the winner will be announced at the Sydney Writers’ Festival on 18th May.

Worth £60,000 to the winner, the Man Booker International Prize is awarded every two years to a living author who has published fiction either originally in English or whose work is generally available in translation in the English language.

The winner is chosen solely at the discretion of the judging panel; there are no submissions from publishers. Alice Munro won in 2009, Chinua Achebe in 2007 and Ismail Kadaré the inaugural prize in 2005.

There is a separate award for translation and, if applicable, the winner can choose a translator of his or her work into English to receive a prize of £15,000.

>Man Booker Prize 2010 Winner


Congratulations must go to British author Howard Jacobson who was named the winner of the £50,000 Man Booker Prize for Fiction for The Finkler Question. Jacobson has been on the Man Booker longlist twice before – for Kalooki Nights in 2006 and for Who’s Sorry Now in 2002.

The Finkler Question is a novel about love, loss and male friendship, and explores what it means to be Jewish today.

Said to have ‘some of the wittiest, most poignant and sharply intelligent comic prose in the English language’, The Finkler Question has been described as ‘wonderful’ and ‘richly satisfying’ and as a novel of ‘full of wit, warmth, intelligence, human feeling and understanding’” (Source: The Man Booker Prizes website)

The Finkler Question edged out the bookies favourite, C by Tom McCarthy to win the 2010 prize and Australian Peter Carey’s Parrot and Olivier in America. Carey would have been an unprecedented 3 time winner had his book been chosen. The other shortlisted books are Room by Emma Donoghue, The Long Song by Andrea Levy and In a Strange Room by Damon Galgut.

As well as the substantial cash prize of £50,000 (AU$80,137), Howard Jacobson can expect a huge increase in sales and recognition worldwide; already, sales for the books on the 2010 Longlist have been 45% higher than last year. Each of the six shortlisted authors, including the winner, receives £2,500 and a designer-bound edition of their book.

Read about the shortlisted books and longlisted books on the Man Booker Prizes website.

>A Year in the Life of a Booker Prize Judge

>Ahead of the announcement tomorrow of the winner of the Man Booker Prize comes this article,
My year as a Man Booker Prize judge by Rosie Blau in The Financial Times.

With 138 Man Booker nominated books to read, a newborn daughter, a father with serious health problems and all the ‘normal’ ups and downs of life to contend with too, it’s been busy.

Meanwhile Ladbrokes have Tom McCarthy’s C as favourite to win the prize although they had to stop betting after getting a sudden surge of bets for that title.

To refresh your memories, the shortlist of six titles is :

Emma Donoghue ~ Room

Damon Galgut ~ In a Strange Room

Howard Jacobson ~ The Finkler Question

Andrea Levy ~ The Long Song

Tom McCarthy ~ C

The winner of the 2010 Man Booker Prize for Fiction will be announced on Tuesday 12 October at a dinner at London’s Guildhall.

>Video review of the Man Booker 2010 shortlist


To my annoyance, I can’t get this to go in as embedded video so you’ll have to click on this link to this humorous video review of the Man Booker shortlist by Ron Charles in the Washington Post. See if you can spot his mistake*.

Unfortunately you will have to endure 15 seconds or so of advertising before the video starts and there is some commentary on reading before getting down to the gritty business of the Man Booker shortlist and some practical information on impressing people with your literary choices.


*Answer: It’s Andrea Levy’s The Long Song which has been shortlisted, not Small Island which is a 2004 book – it did win the Whitbread and Orange prizes though and I can highly recommend it.

>Man Booker Prize 2010 Shortlist


The shortlist of six titles was announced yesterday at a press conference at Man’s London headquarters.

The six books, selected from the Man Booker Prize longlist of 13, are:

Peter Carey ~ Parrot and Olivier in America

Emma Donoghue ~ Room

Damon Galgut ~ In a Strange Room

Howard Jacobson ~ The Finkler Question

Andrea Levy ~ The Long Song

Tom McCarthy ~ C

The winner of the 2010 Man Booker Prize for Fiction will be announced on Tuesday 12 October at a dinner at London’s Guildhall.

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