Attention book lovers on all sides of the pond! The Man Booker 2012 longlist, as selected by Dan Stevens (aka Matthew Crawley, swoon), Dinah Birch, Amanda Foreman, Bharat Tandon, and chair Sir Peter Stothard, has just been announced. There are some pretty obvious picks (we would have been shocked if Hilary Mantel’s Bring up the Bodies didn’t make the longlist), some pleasant surprises (Jeet Thayil’s awesome debut novel Narcopolis!) and enough books that haven’t made it over to the states yet that we have a lot to explore before the shortlist is announced in September.
What do you think, dear readers? Will we hear more of the same accusations of dumbing-down that we heard last year? Are you so excited by the panel’s choices that you’re going to go out and buy the whole list or do you think you’ll skip this round? Let us know who you’re rooting for in the comments, and keep an eye on the Booker Prize website for more updates.
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Want to know how to write a novel worthy of the illustrious Man Booker Prize? Well, from the looks of it, you should probably make sure to kill a bunch of characters. This chart, created by the good folks at Delayed Gratification (where you can also see a larger version), breaks the 2011 longlisted… Read More
This evening, the 2011 Man Booker Prize was awarded to Julian Barnes for his 150-page novel The Sense of an Ending. Barnes had been touted as the favorite since the shortlist was announced way back at the beginning of September, which, at least if all the snarky critics can be trusted, tends to… Read More
A list of 13 authors from 8 different countries who were nominated for the Man Booker International Prize — which is awarded “to a living author for a body of work that has contributed to an achievement in fiction on the world stage” — was released yesterday. The winner will receive an award of £60,000 (approximately $85,000) as well as the ability to refer to him or herself in the third person as a “notable” author. Next month, the MBIP panel will winnow it down to a single winner, who will be announced at the Sydney Writers’ Festival, with an awards ceremony taking place on June 28th in London. Since the prize is awarded every two years, the last prize winner was the unflappable short story writer Alice Munro in 2009.
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Emma Donoghue’s Room is destined to end up on many a “Best Books of 2010” list — it will definitely be on ours — for being that unique breed of novel that’s both smart and compulsively readable. Written from a 5-year-old’s point of view, Room tells the story of a mother, her son, and the titular room in which they are confined, while evoking recent news headlines with probing candidness. The book was shortlisted for the 2010 Man Booker Prize — Howard Jacobson’s The Finkler Question ended up winning — Donoghue’s other novels have received numerous accolades. Amid all this media attention, we chatted with Donoghue about her favorite characters from her own work, the difficulties of writing a child’s point of view, and her TV writing aspirations.
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1. Weezer’s new album Hurley, which includes guest appearances by Ryan Adams and Michael Cera, is now streaming on MySpace.
2. The Man Booker Prize shortlist has been announced, with Tom McCarthy’s novel C as bookies’ favorite to win. [via Independent]
3. Terry Gilliam’s The Man Who Killed Don… Read More
John Banville mixes mythology and mathematics in The Infinities, the first novel published under his own name since he won the Booker Prize in 2005.
The Infinities chronicles half-hearted memories, dreams, and fears at the deathbed of mathematician/physicist Adam Godley, whose struggling family and a few matter-of-fact Greek gods have come to attend his passing — and fulfill desires of their own. Set in the Irish countryside of a vaguely alternate universe, the book resembles playwright Heinrich von Kleist’s Amphitryon in story, but takes on an added dimension of grounded surrealism and wit.
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1. Yesterday’s Man Booker Prize went to big-selling author Hilary Mantel for her Thomas Cromwell political thriller, Wolf Hall. [via The Independent]
2. Vacation is getting a sort of sequel that will focus on Rusty Griswold, now a father and taking his own kids on a road trip. [via THR]
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For fiction writers, the Man Booker Prize is like the Academy Awards. Once summertime roles around, anyone whose novel was published that year eagerly sits by their phone in anticipation of the call letting them know they’ve been nominated for the prestigious literary accolade. Being nominated is good for publicity, but that extra £50,000 ($82,000) prize isn’t something to shake a stick at. Just ask last year’s winner Aravind Adiga whose novel The White Tiger has currently sold over half a million copies.
For those of you who may enjoy a brief respite from reality, here’s a cheat sheet to help you navigate the thirteen nominees.… Read More
Remember earlier this year when we told you about Netherland, Joseph O’Neill’s buzzy love letter to New York and cricket that shocked everyone by not getting nominated for the Man Booker prize? Well here’s a bit of runner-up prize for Mr. O’Neill: According to New York Times Magazine, Barack Obama is reading the novel because he’s “sick of briefing books.” Isn’t that cute?
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