Archive for September, 2015

Grim Shortlist for 2015 Man Booker Prize


The shortlist for the 2015 Man Booker Prize for Fiction is here:

Marlon James (Jamaica) – A Brief History of Seven Killings (Oneworld Publications)
Tom McCarthy (UK) – Satin Island (Jonathan Cape)
Chigozie Obioma (Nigeria) – The Fishermen (ONE, Pushkin Press)
Sunjeev Sahota (UK) – The Year of the Runaways (Picador)
Anne Tyler (US) – A Spool of Blue Thread (Chatto & Windus)
Hanya Yanagihara (US) – A Little Life (Picador)

Aged 28, Chigozie Obioma is the youngest person on the list, while Anne Tyler, at 73, is the oldest, and Marlon James is the first Jamaican to be shortlisted for the prize. Congratulations to him for that, but I doubt that I will be reading his book (or watching the HBO TV series) as it sounds too violent for me. Not that the others are all hearts and flowers either: “There is a tremendous amount of violence,” as Michael Wood, who is chairing the judging panel this year, admitted. “Yes, they contain grim things,” another judge (Sam Leith) said, “but there isn’t a single book that isn’t touched with humour.” Hmm.

Many people are surprised at the omission of Lila. Well, Marilynne Robinson is a beautiful writer but, as someone who has little or no patience with religion, I couldn’t get very far with that one either. I ended up playing a game with it. I repeatedly opened it at random to see if I could find a page with no religious words (God, The Bible, missionaries, prayer, church, preaching etc.) You can probably imagine how rare such pages are.

BBC 2’s Artsnight will devote a whole programme to this year’s Man Booker Prize on Friday 9th, and the winner of the £50,000 prize will be announced at The Guildhall, London, on Tuesday 13th October. Let’s hope there’s not too much blood on the carpet.


September 15, 2015 at 12:54 pm Leave a comment


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