Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Kiwi author in Man Booker prize buzz

TOM HUNT -  11/04/2012 - DomPost

Emily Perkins
Fairfax NZ
EMILY PERKINS: The Forrests is 'raved about', says the Book Council.

New Zealand author Emily Perkins has been tipped to win this year's Man Booker prize.

While the longlist for the Man Booker – considered the world's most prestigious literary award – is not announced till July, the Welsh-based Hay Festival this week tipped Perkins' soon-to-be-released book The Forrests to win.
New Zealand Book Council chief executive Noel Murphy said the Hay Festival was a major festival.
He believed Perkins had a good chance of winning. "People I know have read it and raved about it."
The winner of the Man Booker receives 50,000 ($97,000) and an inevitable spike in sales.
"In terms of a single prize for fiction it is probably the most influential," Mr Murphy said.

Bloomsbury, Perkins' publisher, says The Forrests is the story of Dorothy Forrest from the age of 7 when her family moves from New York to Auckland.
The novel follows Dorothy "through the wilderness of a commune, to falling in love, to early marriage and motherhood, from the glorious anguish of parenting to the loss of everything worked for and the unexpected return of love, Dorothy is swept along by time".
Somerset Maugham Award winner Lawrence Norfolk described The Forrests as "an expansive and ambitious novel, beautifully written and covering great swathes of emotional territory".
The Forrests is released in New Zealand on April 30, just over a week before the Auckland Writers and Readers Festival, where Perkins will appear.
It will be released in Britain in May, before her appearance at the Hay Festival in June.
While copies of the final book were received by New Zealand distributors only yesterday, some early proof copies have already been sent to reviewers.
Perkins did not want to comment yesterday.
The only New Zealander to win the Man Booker is Keri Hulme, for her novel, The bone people, in 1985.
Wellington author Lloyd Jones was shortlisted in 2007 for his Mister Pip.
Just making the Man Booker longlist means writers could give up their day jobs, New Zealand's first poet laureate, Bill Manhire, said.
After the longlist of 12 or 13 titles is announced in July, a shortlist of six titles is announced in September.
The winner will be named on October 16.

I have yet to read The Forrests and would be absolutely delighted if Emily Perkins' new novel is even shortlisted for the Man Booker let alone winning it. But remember it is up against every other novel published in the UK and the odds of even being shortlisted are long indeed. The above report is all good publicity for the novel but I am sure Perkins will not be holding her breath!

1 comment:

Mark Hubbard said...

Well done to Emily Perkins. I try to read as much of the shortlist (assumption :) ) as I can, so it'll be good to have a NZ book on there again. Looking forward to it coming out - I hope there's a Kindle version.