Monday, July 28, 2008

Curried Salman?

The longlist for the 2008 Man Booker Prize will be announced on Tuesday, and predictions are flying around - especially at the Picador blog where they are offering £50 worth of books to whoever guesses the most right. I wasn't planning on making any predictions after jinxing Gerard Woodward last year, but for the chance of another fifty quids worth of books I don't have space for, or time to read, what the hell!
Here are my wild guesses:

Aravind Adiga - The White Tiger
Nadeem Aslam - The Wasted Vigil
Robert Edric - In Zodiac Light
Damon Galgut - The Impostor
Steven Galloway - The Cellist of Sarajevo
Dawn Garisch - Once, Two Islands
Helen Garner - The Spare Room
Sadie Jones - The Outcast
Michelle de Kretser - The Lost Dog
Elizabeth Lowry - The Bellini Madonna
David Park - The Truth Commissioner
Salman Rushdie - The Enchantress Of Florence
Helen Walsh - Once Upon A Time In England

...and here are another thirteen I could equally well have picked:

Sebastian Barry - The Secret Scripture
John Burnside - Glister
Andrew Crumey - Sputnik Caledonia
Peter Carey - His Illegal Self
Amitav Ghosh - Sea of Poppies
Mohammed Hanif - A Case of Exploding Mangoes
Zoë Heller - The Believers
Howard Jacobson - The Act of Love
Adam Mars-Jones - Pilcrow
James Kelman - Kieron Smith, Boy
Joseph O'Neill - Netherland
Ross Raisin - God's Own Country
Tim Winton - Breath

Significantly (or perhaps not) two former judges have nailed their colours firmly to the mast, telling the world exactly what is going to win this year - not that they agree, of course...

Susan Hill, author, blogger, and Booker judge in 1975, is certain that The Spare Room by Helen Garner will...or, erm...should win this year's prize; whereas John Sutherland, a judge in 1999 and 2005, insists that: "if The Enchantress of Florence doesn’t win this year’s Man Booker I’ll curry my proof copy and eat it."

Well, I've heard of having to eat your own words - but someone else's?
It's especially brave considering how many people find Rushdie's novels indigestible...

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