Thursday, July 30, 2009

2009 Man Booker Prize Longlist

This week the judges for the 2009 Man Booker Prize announced the longlist of thirteen titles - or the Man Booker Dozen. The longlist includes Summertime by J.M. Coetzee, who is one of only two novelists to have won the Booker Prize twice with Life & Times of Michael K in 1983 and Disgrace in 1999. (Summertime isn't due out in the US until January.) It also features The Children's Book (October publication) by A.S. Byatt, winner of the Booker Prize in 1990 with Possession -- who announced at the time that she would spend her prize winnings to build her longed-for swimming pool in Provence, something that sounds particularly delightful to me this week, given our weather!

William Trevor, previously shortlisted four times for the annual prize, is longlisted for his new novel Love and Summer (due out September 1). Sarah Waters and Colm Toibin, who have both been shortlisted twice for the Man Booker Prize, have made the 2009 longlist with their latest novels -- both available now in hardcover. Hilary Mantel was previously longlisted for the prize. Her shortlisted book, Wolf Hall, will be published in October.

Chaired by broadcaster and author James Naughtie, the 2009 judges are Lucasta Miller, biographer and critic; Michael Prodger, Literary Editor of The Sunday Telegraph; Professor John Mullan, academic, journalist and broadcaster; and Sue Perkins, comedian, journalist and broadcaster. Naughtie said of the longlist, "We believe it to be one of the strongest lists in recent memory, with two former winners, four past shortlisted writers, three first-time novelists, and a span of styles and themes that make this an outstandingly rich fictional mix." A total of 132 books, 11 of which were called in by the judges, were considered for the ‘Man Booker Dozen' longlist of thirteen books.

Any full-length novel, written by a citizen of the Commonwealth or the Republic of Ireland and published this year, is eligible for the prize. The novel must be an original work in English (not a translation) and must not be self-published. This year's Man Booker Prize winner will be announced October 6, 2009.

Last year's winner of the Man Booker Prize was The White Tiger, by Aravind Adiga, a novel of the gritty underbelly of contemporary India. His new book, Between the Assassinations, is a collection of linked stories set in the fictional Indian town of Kittur. It is available now in hardcover.

Here are the books selected for this year's Man Booker longlist, along with their scheduled publication dates (where known) in the US:

  • The Children's Book, A.S. Byatt (Oct 2009)

  • Summertime, J.M. Coetzee (Jan 2010)

  • The Quickening Maze, Adam Foulds

  • How to Paint a Dead Man, Sarah Hall (Sept 2009 PB)

  • The Wilderness, Samatha Harvey (available now in hardcover)

  • Me Cheetah, James Lever

  • Wolf Hall, Hilary Mantel (Oct 2009)

  • The Glass Room, Simon Mawer

  • Not Untrue & Not Unkind, Ed O'Loughlin (April 2010)

  • Heliopolis, James Scudamore

  • Brooklyn, Colm Toibin (available now in hardcover)

  • Love and Summer, William Trevor (Sept 2009)

  • The Little Stranger, Sarah Waters (available now in hardcover)

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