Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Man Booker Prize 2010 - The Longlist

Having read 138 books, the judges have spoken.
Here is their Man Booker Dozen for 2010:

Peter Carey
Parrot and Olivier in America
(Faber and Faber)

Emma Donoghue
(Pan MacMillan - Picador)

Helen Dunmore
The Betrayal
(Penguin - Fig Tree)

Damon Galgut
In a Strange Room
(Grove Atlantic - Atlantic Books)

Howard Jacobson
The Finkler Question

Andrea Levy
The Long Song
(Headline Publishing Group - Headline Review)

Tom McCarthy
(Random House - Jonathan Cape)

David Mitchell
The Thousand Autumns of Zacob de Zoet
(Hodder & Stoughton - Sceptre)

Lisa Moore
(Random House - Chatto & Windus)

Paul Murray
Skippy Dies
(Penguin - Hamish Hamilton)

Rose Tremain
(Random House - Chatto & Windus)

Christos Tsiolkas
The Slap
(Grove Atlantic - Tuskar Rock)

Alan Warner
The Stars in the Bright Sky
(Random House - Jonathan Cape)

Former Poet Laureate Sir Andrew Motion, chair of the judging panel, described them as "thirteen exceptional novels," saying they had chosen them "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."

The other judges are Rosie Blau, literary editor of the Financial Times; the dancer, writer and broadcaster Deborah Bull; the biographer and critic Frances Wilson; and broadcaster Tom Sutcliffe. They meet again to select the shortlist in six weeks time, on September 7th.

It's been a while since I cocked a snook at the bookies, but they really do ask for it. You would think that after last year, when Wolf Hall was heavily backed at 8/1 at this stage, they would have learned, but apparently not. William Hill made Andrea Levy the favourite, despite the fact that The Long Song didn't even make the shortlist for the Orange Prize earlier this year. Meanwhile, on Twitter (inevitably) Peter Florence was quick to point out that "David Mitchell at 9-2 is a smart bet." No kidding. I imagine it will be the odds-on favourite before they can say "ouch, stop biting our hands off."


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