Thursday, July 24, 2014

Man Booker Prize Longlist Announced

Yesterday (7/23/14) the 2014 Man Booker prize longlist was announced. The shortlist will be announced on September 9, and the winner will be revealed on October 14. These announcements of one of the world’s preeminent literary prizes are always of interest, and are even more so this year because of a new policy: Up to this year, only British and Commonwealth novels were eligible, but as of this year, all novels originally written in English and printed in Britain may be considered for and may win the prize. Out of the 13 novels on the longlist just announced, five are by Americans, six by Britons, one by an Irish author, and one by an Australian writer. Some in Great Britain are a bit surprised and perhaps a bit dismayed by the strong showing by Americans. Others think a wider range of eligible novels can only increase the quality of the pool. I don't have strong feelings either way myself. One small note of interest: Apparently some were surprised that Donna Tartt’s “The Goldfinch” was not on the longlist, especially since it won the Pulitzer Prize. As regular readers of this blog know, I didn’t think that novel was anywhere near as good as it was hyped to be, so I am glad it isn’t on the list. In any case, I look forward with interest – as I do every year – to the upcoming announcements of the shortlist and of the winner.
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