This year there is a very exciting longlist from the judges of the 2015 Man Booker Prize. What’s so striking about it is the diversity of authors and titles on the list. How thrilling it was to see The incredibly unique dystopian novel The Chimes included which I read earlier this year and adored. I’ve only read 7 out of the 13 listed, but I’m going to make a guess on the shortlist anyway. Because I’ve been so busy reading titles for the Green Carnation Prize, I haven’t been able to read as many others from the list as I’d have liked to. But interestingly, this happens to be a particularly queer year for the Booker prize. From the ones I’ve read including A Brief History of Seven Killings, Did You Ever Have a Family, The Chimes and The Green Road all have either gay/lesbian protagonists or prominent queer storylines. I’ve heard Hanya Yanagihara read from A Little Life and know it’s true for this novel as well. So big cheers for the Booker paying tribute to the fascinating diversity of queer life!
Marlon James, Marilynne Robinson and Anne Enright’s novels all have to be at the top of this list for me. They are three superb books I’ve absolutely loved. Even though I haven’t read Hanya Yanagihara’s book so many people I know and respect say this is a life changing novel that I’ll be shocked if it isn’t shortlisted as well. My last two predictions are shots in the dark. I’ve heard such good things about Laila Lalami’s book it seems like a smart choice. I also think Tom McCarthy or Andrew O’Hagan will be listed because they are literary tricksters and at least one book like this usually appears on the shortlist. I did read Satin Island and, as time has gone on, I remember less and less about it. While there was a lot I enjoyed and admired about Anne Tyler’s A Spool of Blue Thread and Bill Clegg’s Did You Ever Have a Family, I don’t think they will have the support to make it any further. So here are my six predictions and it’ll be fascinating to see what is announced on Tuesday.
A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James
A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara
Lila by Marilynne Robinson
The Green Road by Anne Enright
The Illuminations by Andrew O’Hagan
The Moor’s Account by Laila Lalami
And making an early guess, I’m going to pick "A Brief History of Seven Killings" to win the Booker this year. This is an epic novel!
Have you read any books from the longlist? Do your shortlist predictions differ from mine? Let me know what you think!