On the 27th of July the longlist for this year’s Man Booker Prize will be announced! It’s been an exciting year for the prize so far with their new Man Booker International Prize being awarded to the fantastic novel "The Vegetarian" by the South Korean writer Han Kang and translated by Deborah Smith. It’s so wonderful the prize has given this platform for exciting translated fiction! Also, with last year’s choice of the brilliant sprawling epic “A Brief History of Seven Killings” by Marlon James, I’m really curious to know who might win the prize this year.
For the main prize it’s an extremely difficult guessing game predicting the longlist as the prize is open to any novel originally written in English and published in the UK between 1st October 2015 and 30th September 2016. Not only does that mean there are an enormous amount of American authors eligible, but also there are many novels still to be published which most people won’t have seen yet. However, as I like speculating and part of the pleasure of prizes is debating what books should be listed, I’m throwing out my guesses for which 12 or 13 books will appear on the longlist next month.
Here are my choices. Click on the titles to see my full thoughts about those I have read. I’ve not yet read the novels by Barker, Haslett, Proulx or Ryan – however, I hear great things about them! I really hope the others I’ve read will be recognized – especially authors like Paraic O’Donnell, Chinelo Okparanta and Garth Greenwell as their novels really deserve more attention. And, of course, I’m always rooting for Joyce Carol Oates! (Since writing this I learned that Lisa McInerney's The Glorious Heresies - which won both the Baileys Prize and the Desmond Elliot Prize this year - isn't actually eligible for this year's Booker prize because it was first published earlier in 2015 so I've replaced it in my list.)
LaRose by Louise Erdrich
The Gustav Sonata by Rose Tremain
Hot Milk by Deborah Levy
The Tidal Zone by Sarah Moss
The Maker of Swans by Paraic O’Donnell
Under the Udala Trees by Chinelo Okparanta
The Noise of Time by Julian Barnes
The Man Without a Shadow by Joyce Carol Oates
What Belongs to You by Garth Greenwell
The Cauliflower by Nicola Barker
Imagine Me Gone by Adam Haslett
Barkskins by Annie Proulx
All We Shall Know by Donal Ryan
What do you think? What novels would you like to see on the longlist?