The 13 nominations for the 2017 Man Booker Award have been announced. Cue the music!
The Man Booker Prize is the UK’s most coveted literary award and for a long time, only writers from Britain and its Commonwealth and South Africa were eligible. Since the rules have changed, a Jamaican writer (Marlon James) and an American writer (Paul Beatty) have won. But more than that, I am fascinated by the prize because the committee selects and announces a long list of candidates that they are considering. After a couple months, the nominees are whittled down to a smaller group and that is published and finally, a winner is chosen to much excitement in the literary world. It’s all above board and done in the public eye so that fans of literary fiction can indulge in predicting the shortlist and the eventual winner. It makes for an interesting (if a tad bit nerdy) conversation starter.
As you might remember, I am working my way through reading previous year’s Booker nominations. For a long time, I was more enamored by the Pulitzer award, the prestigious literary prize in the US, but the election process is completely different. In the US, no one knows what novels are being considered until the winner is selected. No long list, no short list, no excitement, no games. So while I am still interested in the Pulitzer and trying to read my way through the awardees, the Booker Prize inspires my fandom.
The 2017 nominees are:
- 4321 /Paul Auster
- Days Without End /Sebastian Barry
- History of Wolves /Emily Fridlund
- Exit West /Mohsin Hamid
- Solar Bones by Mike McCormack
- Reservoir 13 /Jon McGregor
- Elmet /Fiona Mozley
- The Ministry of Utmost Happiness /Arundhati Roy
- Lincoln in the Bardo /George Saunders
- Home Fire /Kamila Shamsie
- Autumn /Ali Smith
- Swing Time /Zadie Smith
- The Underground Railroad /Colson Whitehead
Ironically, the only book I’ve read on the list so far is Whitehead’s Underground Railroad, which won this year’s Pulitzer. I don’t expect it will win the Booker as well but without having read the other novels being considered, there is no way to tell. As you can probably guess, I’ll be working my way through these novels, reading as many of them as I can before the shortlist is announced in September. I have Exit West on my August TBR since I am using it to complete another challenge and a couple others were on my radar of books that I wanted to get to soon. Now, it might be sooner than that. I’ll keep you posted.
What about you? Are you interested in either of these literary awards. Are any of these books on your must-read list?
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