Hodd Robbed!

July 28, 2009 at 5:13 pm Leave a comment

The 2009 Man Booker Prize longlist – or perhaps this year, since Sue Perkins is on the judging panel, it should be renamed the supersizelist – has been announced, it is:

A.S. Byatt – The Children’s Book (Random House – Chatto & Windus)
J.M. Coetzee – Summertime (Random House – Harvill Secker)
Adam Foulds – The Quickening Maze (Random House – Jonathan Cape)
Sarah Hall – How to Paint a Dead Man (Faber and Faber)
Samantha Harvey – The Wilderness (Random House – Jonathan Cape)
James Lever – Me Cheeta (Harper Collins – Fourth Estate)
Hilary Mantel – Wolf Hall (Harper Collins – Fourth Estate)
Simon Mawer – The Glass Room (Little, Brown)
Ed O’Loughlin – Not Untrue & Not Unkind (Penguin – Ireland)
James Scudamore – Heliopolis (Random House – Harvill Secker)
Colm Toibin – Brooklyn (Penguin – Viking)
William Trevor – Love and Summer (Penguin – Viking)
Sarah Waters – The Little Stranger (Little, Brown – Virago)

So, no place for Hodd. I hope the judges don’t venture into Sherwood Forest any time soon! Indeed, it was probably not even among the 132 books they read (unless it was one of the eleven they called in) as Jonathan Cape obviously submitted The Quickening Maze and The Wilderness instead. To be fair, there were bound to be some tough choices in a year quite rightly described by BBC Radio 4’s James Naughtie, who is chairing the judges this year, as exceptional. He also described the longlist as one of the strongest in recent memory. Certainly any year where a new Margaret Atwood novel doesn’t make the longlist must be strong. The biggest surprise on the list has to be Me Cheeta – a fictional autobiography of Hollywood’s most famous chimp – which is being mistakenly shelved among real showbiz autobiographies in libraries.

To celebrate the longlist announcement, the 2009 Man Booker Prize will be showcased as part of the One & Other project on the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square, London. On Tuesday 11 August at 11am, a Man Booker Prize enthusiast will give readings from all 13 longlisted titles and then give away copies of the books. Please don’t throw bananas when he reads from Me Cheeta. Ahhhhhhuhahuhahuhahhhhhh!

The shortlist will be announced on September 8th (for the benefit of the superstitious, that’s the day before 9/9/9) and the winner on October 6th.

Sadly, Nottingham was also robbed of one of its finest literary talents on Saturday when Stanley Middleton died at the age of 89. Stanley was joint winner of the Booker Prize in 1974 for Holiday.


Entry filed under: Booker Prize, cheeta, heliopolis, Hodd, Jonathan Cape, longlist, Mawer, Toibin.

Annual Man Booker fog-knitting competition Wolf or Chimp to follow Tiger?

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