Monday, September 17, 2007

What happened to the big guns?

Booker judge Giles Foden on the tussles that produced this year's shortlist in Saturday's issue of the Guardian.

Regret was mainly what I felt when, along with my fellow judges Wendy Cope, Ruth Scurr, Imogen Stubbs and chairman Howard Davies, I began sifting through the Man Booker longlist to produce a shortlist last week. What about those jewels put aside in August, which now could not be shortlisted? Novels such as John Preston's The Dig and Rebecca Gowers's When to Walk, both of which might have made the longlist with more support across the whole panel. But when five people have to agree on 13 books from a 110-strong original entry, there are bound to be casual- ties. And that's not including 18 "call-ins" - books not initially submitted but later suggested by publishers or asked for by judges.

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