Last year Kristine and I challenged ourselves to read the shortlist of the booker prize as way of prompting us to read more contemporary fiction. I read five of the six and whilst I didn't think I read anything that could ever achieve classic status it was a very interesting experiment to capture a snapshot of current literary trends so why not make it a yearly thing?
This year's longlist was announced on 27th July. The aptly named Booker's dozen are:
Peter Carey - Parrot and Olivier in America
Emma Donoghue - Room
Helen Dunmore - The Betrayal
Damon Galgut - In a Strange Room
Howard Jacobson - The Finkler Question
Andrea Levy - The Long Song
Tom McCarthy - C
David Mitchell - The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet
Lisa Moore - February
Paul Murray - Skippy Dies
Rose Tremain - Trespass
Christos Tsiolkas - The Slap
Alan Warner - The Stars in the Bright Sky
My early hunch is that one of the usual suspects will win. Either the twice denied but greatly lauded David Mitchell will be rewarded for his course of work or Peter Carey will break the records and win a third Booker prize or perhaps, having just rewarded historical fiction last year with Hilary Mantel's Tudor tome Wolf Hall, they will take a look at the more avant garde Tom McCarthy.
I can't promise to read them all before the winner is announced but I will read as many titles as I can. Keep an eye out for the reviews.
David Markson: This Is Not A Novel
6 years ago