Man Booker Prize longlist announced

July 28, 2009 by · 5 Comments 

And, as usual, I haven’t read a single one of them. The baker’s dozen are:

  • The Children’s Book by A.S. Byatt
  • Summertime by J.M. Coetzee
  • The Quickening Maze by Adam Foulds
  • How to Paint a Dead Man by Sarah Hall
  • The Wilderness by Samantha Harvey
  • Me Cheeta by James Lever
  • Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel
  • The Glass Room by Simon Mawer
  • Not Untrue & Not Unkind by Ed O’Loughlin
  • Heliopolis by James Scudamore
  • Brooklyn by Colm Tóibín
  • Love and Summer by William Trevor
  • The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters

No Canadian names on the list, which is open to Commonwealth writers with books published in the U.K. between October 1, 2008 and September 30, 2009. The jury considered 132 titles, of which 11 were called in, to come up with the longlist. Jury chair James Naughtie (refrain from comment, Beattie, refrain …) calls this year’s longlist “one of the strongest in recent memory,” and goes on to say:

Our fiction is in the hands of original and dedicated writers with fresh and appealing voices. This is an eclectic list, taking us from the court of Henry VIII to the Hollywood jungle, with stops along the way in a nineteenth century Essex asylum, an African warzone and a futuristic Brazilian city among other places.

The shortlist will be announced on September 8, and the winner of the £50,000 purse will be declared on October 6.

Alice Munro wins Man Booker International

May 27, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

imagesAlice Munro, whose new collection of stories, Too Much Happiness, is out this fall, has won the 2009 Man Booker International Prize. Munro becomes only the third writer to win the award, which is given out every two years. She follows Ismail Kadaré, who won the inaugural award in 2005, and Chinua Achebe, who won in 2007. Fourteen authors from 12 countries were in contention for this year’s award. Munro beat out a strong field of contenders, which also included such literary luminaries as Peter Carey, V.S. Naipaul, and Joyce Carol Oates.

The jury for this year’s prize was made up of novelist Jane Smiley, writer and musician Amit Chaudhuri, and screenwriter and essayist Andrey Kurkov. The jury citation reads:

Alice Munro is mostly known as a short story writer and yet she brings as much depth, wisdom and precision to every story as most novelists bring to a lifetime of novels. To read Alice Munro is to learn something every time that you never thought of before.

The prize comes with a £60,000 purse.

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