Annual Man Booker fog-knitting competition

July 27, 2009 at 12:03 am Leave a comment

The Man Booker Prize longlist will be announced on Tuesday, so it’s crystal ball time again.

Predicting which novels the judges will select for their longlist is like trying to nail jelly to a wall, not least because those of us on the outside looking in never even know which books have been entered for the prize. After all, it wouldn’t do for authors to find out that their publisher had chosen someone else ahead of them. Ego juggling is best done in private.

Even assessing the eligibility of an author can be tricky. I had a moment of doubt about Adam Thorpe recently when I found out that he was born in Paris and resides in France – especially when I realised, with some surprise, that he has never even been longlisted before. Helpfully though, Howard Davies specifically mentioned Thorpe’s Between Each Breath in his speech at the ceremony two years ago, so Hodd should be in with a shot – if Jonathan Cape have submitted it that is. And ‘if’ is a big word. It also looks like an excellent year for literary fiction, so I’m expecting a really strong longlist, which may look something – or, more likely, nothing – like this:

Margaret Atwood – The Year of the Flood
A.S. Byatt – The Children’s Book
Rana Dasgupta – Solo
Jill Dawson – The Great Lover
Francesca Kay – An Equal Stillness
Hilary Mantel – Wolf Hall
Simon Mawer – The Glass Room
Colum McCann – Let the Great World Spin
Caryl Phillips – In The Falling Snow
Kamila Shamsie – Burnt Shadows
Colm Toibin – Brooklyn
William Trevor – Love and Summer
Elise Valmorbida – The Winding Stick

Although these are the thirteen books I would most like to see on the longlist:

Margaret Atwood – The Year of the Flood
Anthony Cartwright – Heartland
J.M. Coetzee – Summertime
Rana Dasgupta – Solo
Sebastian Faulks – A Week in December
M. J. Hyland – This is How
Simon Mawer – The Glass Room
Colum McCann – Let the Great World Spin
James Palumbo – Tomas
Adam Thorpe – Hodd
Colm Toibin – Brooklyn
Fay Weldon – Chalcot Crescent
Elise Valmorbida – The Winding Stick

Will Hodd make it? I’m all aquiver.


Entry filed under: Booker, Hodd, Jonathan Cape, longlist, Palumbo, posh bingo, Valmorbida.

Alice Munro awarded the Man Booker International Prize Hodd Robbed!

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