After much speculation and excitement, the shortlist for the Man Booker Prize 2016 has been announced! I only managed to guess three out of six and I’ve only read two of these. But I am so thrilled that Deborah Levy’s “Hot Milk” and Madeleine Thien’s “Do Not Say We Have Nothing” are on the list. These are two of my favourite new novels that I’ve read this year and really deserve to be read by a wide audience. However, I’m equally excited to see Paul Beatty’s “The Sellout”, David Szalay’s “All That Man Is”, Graeme Macrae Burnet’s “His Bloody Project” and Ottessa Moshfegh’s “Eileen” on the list as I’ve been eager to read all four of these.
The chair of judges, Amanda Foreman commented: ‘The Man Booker Prize subjects novels to a level of scrutiny that few books can survive. In re-reading our incredibly diverse and challenging longlist, it was both agonizing and exhilarating to be confronted by the sheer power of the writing. As a group we were excited by the willingness of so many authors to take risks with language and form. The final six reflect the centrality of the novel in modern culture – in its ability to champion the unconventional, to explore the unfamiliar, and to tackle difficult subjects.’
The novels have a real mixture of subject matter and styles. From the jellyfish laden beaches of Spain to 1960s New England to musicians in Mao’s China to a race trial at the US supreme court to murders in 19th century Highlands to a pan-European look into the lives of men. It’s great to see a gender balance and diverse list of authors as well. There are two British, two US and two Canadian writers on the list. I’m eager to delve in and get debating about who the winner should be. The winner will be announced on October 25th. Are you eager to read any on the list? Who do you hope will win?