Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Longlist of 2010 Man Booker Finalists

Last week the judges for the 2010 Man Booker Prize for fiction announced the longlist for this year's prize, selected from a total of 138 books considered. The shortlist will be announced on Tuesday, September 7, and the winner will be announced on Tuesday, October 12. Booker winners and finalists tend to be some of my favorite books --  Simon Mawer's The Glass Room, for example. I'm not as familiar with many on this year's list, but I intend to become familiar with more of them. Because this is a British prize, not all of the books on the longlist are available (at least yet) in this country. I've indicated where I know about availability at our store. Without further ado, here's the list:
  • Peter Cary, Parrot and Olivier in America, an inventive reimagining of Alexis de Tocqueville's famous journey (available in hardcover).
  • Emma Donoghue, Room. Based on a true story and told from the point of view of 5-year-old Jack, tells the story of an abducted young woman held captive for years in a 12-foot-square room. (available in hardcover September 13)
  • Helen Dunmore, The Betrayal. Dunmore is the winner of the first Orange Prize for fiction by a woman (A Spell of Winter). The Betrayal is set in Leningrad in 1952, in Stalin's post-war Russia.
  • Damon Galgut, In a Strange Room. Tells about relationships between people thrown together in the course of journeys (to Lesotho, Central Africa, and India).
  • Howard Jacobson, The Finkler Question, a comic novel about a man obsessed with Jews and Jewishness.
  • Andrea Levy, The Long Song. Levy is the author of one of my favorite novels, Small Island, which was recently adapted for television by the BBC.  The Long Song tells the story of the last turbulent years of slavery and the early years of freedom in 19th-century Jamaica. (available in hardcover)
  • Tom McCarthy, C -- historical fantasy, sometimes witty and sometimes eerie, built around the early years of radio transmission. (available in hardcover September 7)
  • David Mitchell, The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet. This is one of the hottest-selling books at the store right now, from the author of Cloud Atlas and Ghostwritten. A majestic historical romance set in turn-of-the-19th-century Japan and focusing on a Dutch East Indies trading official. The book was recently reviewed in The Oregonian by Vernon Peterson. (available in hardcover)
  • Lisa Moore, February, a fictional exploration of the impact on one family of the 1982 sinking of the oil rig Ocean Ranger, in which 84 men died, most of them Newfoundlanders. (available in paperback)
  • Paul Murray, Skippy Dies, a darkly comic novel of adolescence set in Dublin. Irish filmmaker Neil Jordan (The Crying Games) has just been signed to write and direct a big screen version. (available in hardcover August 31)
  • Rose Tremain, Trespass, an electrifying novel about disputed territory, sibling love, and devastating revenge by the author of The Road Home and Restoration. (available in hardcover October 18)
  • Christos Tsialkas, The Slap. When a man slaps a child who is not his own at a neighborhood barbeque, the act triggers a series of repercussions in the lives of those who witnessed the slap. (available in paperback)
  • Alan Warner, The Stars in the Bright Sky, a darkly comic tale of six hard-drinking ex-schoolgirls in Scotland heading out on holiday.
This is what the chair of the judges, Andrew Motion, had to say about the list: "Here are thirteen exceptional novels -- books we have chosen for their intrinsic quality, without reference to the past work of their authors. Wide-ranging in their geography and their concern, they tell powerful stories which make the familiar strange and cover an enormous range of history and feeling. We feel confident that they will provoke and entertain.

Peter Carey is one of only two authors to have won the prize twice (Oscar and Lucinda and True History of the Kelly Gang). He has also had a book shortlisted and another longlisted. David Mitchell has hit the shortlist twice, and Damon Galgut and Rose Tremain have hit it once. Tremain also served as a judge for the Booker Prize in 1988 and 2000. Howard Jacobson has been longlisted twice.

1 comment:

  1. After I started following the Booker I found the author Pat Barker who won first place. She wrote a series of books starting with a family in pre WWI. It was a struggling working class family. I was able to read the whole series from my library! She is fantastic if you are a lover of all things english. Even if you aren't she is a great read.


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