Saturday, August 13, 2005

2005 Booker Prize Longlist Announced

The long list for the 2005 Mann-Booker prize was announced last Wednesday. The full list is
  • Aw, Tash - The Harmony Silk Factory
  • Banville, John - The Sea
  • Barnes, Julian - Arthur and George
  • Barry, Sebastian - A Long Long Way
  • Coetzee, J. M. - Slow Man
  • Cusk, Rachel - In the Fold
  • Ishiguro, Kazuo - Never Let Me Go
  • Jacobson, Dan - All for Love
  • Lewycka, Marina - A Short Histor of Tractors in Ukranian
  • McEwan, Ian - Saturday
  • Mantel, Hilary - Beyond Black
  • Meek, James - A Peoples' Act of Love
  • Rushdie, Salman - Shalimar the Clown
  • Smith, Ali - The Accidental
  • Smith, Zadie - On Beauty
  • Thompson, Harry - This Thing of Darkness
  • Wall, William - This Is the Country
The Prince George's County Memorial Library System only has two of these book, which is a little surprising considering that man of these books have been in print for much of the last year. Personally I find this a bit disappointing since one of the functions of a public library is to allow people to be exposed to new literature, and the Booker Prize nominees are generally considered to be among the best of the previous year's crop of English-language fiction. On thing to notice about this list is the large number of established authors, like Rushdie, McEwan, and Coetzee. I would prefer that the prize committee be a bit more adventurous in setting the long list. Rushdie, for example, is a highly over-rated writer, and Shalimar the Clown has not even been published yet! Why is it on the list? It would be rather sad if the Booker Prize became as irrelevant as the Nobel Prize in Literature. Watch this space on September 8 for the short list.

1 comment:

Tara said...

So are you going to read the list and post some reviews of each book before the winner is announced?