Man Booker Prize for Fiction are usually some of my favorite reads. The recently announced 2011 longlist offers one former Booker Prize winner, two previous shortlisters and one longlister, four debut novelists, and three publishers new to the prize. Most exciting of all, this year's longlist has a local writer! Well, he's actually a Canadian (born in British Columbia), but he and his family live in Portland.
That local author is Patrick DeWitt, whose nominated title is the recently published novel The Sisters Brothers, starring henchmen Eli and Charlie Sisters and paying homage to the classic Western while transforming it into an unforgettable comic tour de fource as the Sisters brothers travel from Oregon City to a gold-mining claim outside Sacramento. DeWitt's first novel was Ablutions: Notes for a Novel, a grim story about a bartender at a Hollywood watering hole and its down-and-out regulars.
The longlisted titles were chosen by a panel of five judges chaired by author and former Director-General of MI5, Dame Stella Rimington. "We are delighted by the quality and breadth of our longlist," said Rimington, "which emerged from an impassioned discussion. The list ranges from the Wild West to multi-ethnic London via post-Cold War Moscow and Bucharest."
Alan Hollinghurst, nominated this year for The Stranger's Child, won the Booker in 2004 for The Line of Beauty. He was also shortlisted in 1994 for The Folding Star. Sebastian Barry and Julian Barnes, longlisted this year, have also been shortlisted in the past, and Carol Birch was longlisted in 2003.
The 2011 shortlist of six authors will be announced September 6th, with the winner announced on October 18th. Not all of the books are available in the US, although some are forthcoming.Check out our website for the full list.