As many other book bloggers have noted, the illustrious Man Booker Prize longlist was announced today:
The Harmony Silk Factory by Tash Aw
The Sea by John Banville
Arthur & George by Julian Barnes
A Long Long Way by Sebastian Barry
Slow Man by JM Coetzee
In the Fold by Rachel Cusk
Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
All For Love by Dan Jacobson
A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian by Marina Lewycka
Beyond Black by Hilary Mantel
Saturday by Ian McEwan
The People’s Act of Love by James Meek
Shalimar the Clown by Salman Rushdie
The Accidental by Ali Smith
On Beauty by Zadie Smith
This Thing of Darkness by Harry Thompson
This is the Country by William Wall
With four previous winners in the running, the longlist is being hailed as one of the best ever, and it looks like the story this year will be if any of the newcomers can surpass the bigger names. My early pick is the Ishiguro, but we’ll see who the degenerate gamblers favor.
As an aside, can I just say that the longlist/shortlist thing that the Brits do is the best way to run a literary prize. The longlist provides plenty of fodder for discussion as well as some insight into the judges’ thinking. The controversy that surrounded last years National Book Award finalists would have been much dampened if that short list had been preceded by a longlist.
See also: For complete Booker longlist coverage, visit the Literary Saloon.