Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The ‘Man Booker Dozen’ Announced

The judges for the 2008 Man Booker Prize for Fiction today (Tuesday 29th July) announce their longlist of books in the running for the prize this year.

The longlist of 13 books, the ‘Man Booker Dozen’, was chosen from 112 entries; 103 were submitted for the prize by publishers and nine were called in by the judges.

The longlist is as follows;

The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga (Atlantic)
Girl in a Blue Dress by Gaynor Arnold (Tindal Street Press)
The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry (Faber and Faber)
From A to X by John Berger (Verso)
The Lost Dog by Michelle de Kretser (Chatto & Windus, Allen & Unwin)
Sea of Poppies by Amitav Ghosh (John Murray)
A Case of Exploding Mangoes by Mohammed Hanif (Jonathan Cape)
The Clothes on Their Backs by Linda Grant (Virago)
The Northern Clemency by Philip Hensher (Fourth Estate)
Netherland by Joseph O'Neill (Fourth Estate)
The Enchantress of Florence by Salman Rushdie (Jonathan Cape)
Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith (Simon & Schuster)
A Fraction of the Whole by Steve Toltz (Hamish Hamilton)

Chair of judges, Michael Portillo, comments:

“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 UK.
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.”

The judging panel for the 2008 Man Booker Prize for Fiction is: Michael Portillo, former MP and Cabinet Minister; Alex Clark, editor of Granta; Louise Doughty, novelist; James Heneage, founder of Ottakar’s bookshops and Hardeep Singh Kohli, TV and radio broadcaster.

The 2008 shortlist will be announced on Tuesday 9th September at a press conference at Man Group’s London office. The winner will be announced on Tuesday 14th October at an awards ceremony at Guildhall, London.

Bookman Beattie is delighted, and not at all surprised to note the inclusion of talented Australian writer Michelle de Kretser included for her brilliant novel, The Lost Dog, and Sebastian Barry for his powerful title, The Secret Scripture which I reviewed on Radio New Zeakabd National yesterday and commented then that I would not be surprised to see it in this year's Man Booker shortlist. And of course a special note of congratulations to Salman Rushdie for yet again being on the longlist. There will be no surprises to find him on the shortlist either. And great too for all those first time novelists, some sort of record must have been established here?

Booker longlist boost for first-time novelists - The Guardian comments here.


LiteraryMinded said...

Wow! I just have to say - go Aussies! Saw Steve Toltz at the Byron Bay Writers Fest on the weekend!

Beattie's Book Blog said...

Yes, I agree, go the Aussies. Two on that list is impressive, and I reckon Tim Winton should have been there too! I am picking, at this early stage, that both Stolz and de Kretser will make the shortlist.