Saturday, September 3, 2011

Making the cut

Parvathi Nayar looks at the 13 contenders to the Shortlist.

It's that annual literary phenomenon when even high-minded bookish folk succumb to the lowly art of laying a bet — ie, the Man Booker prize, one of the most prestigious and eagerly followed of all literary awards. Round#1 of the Booker game is the longlist prediction, the “Man Booker Dozen” of 13 books that was announced last month, picked from an even longer list of 138 books.

We're now in Round#2, and the stakes are getting higher. This coming week, on September 6, the Booker shortlist will be announced, and speculation is rife as to which six authors will make the cut from what is a pretty unusual longlist.

Unusual, not just because of the inclusion of smaller publishers and not very well-known authors, but also because four contenders are first time novelists — ie, Stephen Kelman, A.D. Miller, Yvvette Edwards and Patrick McGuinness. What's more, some of the longlist books call into question the accepted wisdom that only “literary fiction” is considered for the Bookers, by dealing with such diverse subject matter as crime in Moscow or a Victorian mystery.

Full report here Hindu

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