Friday, March 26, 2010

The Lost Man Booker Prize
Shortlist announced

·    Novels that have stood the test of time
·    Short list thrown open to public vote

The shortlist for The Lost Man Booker Prize - a one-off prize to honour the books published in 1970 that were not eligible for consideration for the Booker Prize - is announced today, Thursday 25 March. The six books are:


The Birds on the Trees by Nina Bawden (Virago)
·    Troubles by J G Farrell (Phoenix House)
·    The Bay of Noon by Shirley Hazzard (Virago)
·    Fire From Heaven by Mary Renault (Arrow)
·    The Driver’s Seat by Muriel Spark (Penguin)
·    The Vivisector by Patrick White (Vintage)

The shortlist was selected by a panel of three judges, all of whom were born in or around 1970. They are journalist and critic, Rachel Cooke, ITN newsreader, Katie Derham and poet and novelist, Tobias Hill. They chose the six books from an original longlist of 21 eligible titles which are still in print and generally available today.

The Lost Man Booker is the brainchild of Peter Straus, the honorary archivist to The Booker Prize Foundation.  He realised that in 1971, just two years after it began, the Booker Prize ceased to be awarded retrospectively and became - as it is today - a prize for the best novel of the year of publication.  At the same time the award moved from April to November and, as a result, a wealth of fiction published for much of 1970 fell through the net and was never considered for the prize.

The judges have chosen the shortlist but the winner of The Lost Man Booker Prize will be decided by the international reading public.  Voting, via the Man Booker Prize website ( commences today, and closes on April 23rd.  The overall winner will be announced on 19th May.

Ion Trewin, literary director of the Man Booker Prizes comments, “The judges have chosen a very impressive list of fiction that, though published 40 years ago, clearly still has resonance today.  For those who are rereading these novels and for those who are coming to them for the first time we look forward to learning via the Man Booker website what they think is best.”

Three of the authors on the shortlist have previously had success with the Booker Prize.  J.G. Farrell’s The Siege of Krishnapur won in 1973; Muriel Spark was shortlisted for her novels The Public Image (1969) and Loitering with Intent (1981) and Nina Bawden was shortlisted in 1987 for Circles of Deceit.   Patrick White, Mary Renault and Shirley Hazzard have never been shortlisted for the Booker or Man Booker Prize.

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