Two outta six ain’t bad, Canada.
This morning the Booker’s Dozen (aka the longlist for the Man Booker Prize) was whittled down to a shortlist of 6 diverse and exciting titles. Two of which we Canadians can be proud of: BC-based Ruth Ozeki’s A Tale for a Time Being* and Ontario-born Eleanor Catton’s The Luminaries*.
So who will win?
Let’s take a closer look at the choices…
Ruth Ozeki is the acclaimed author of My Year of Meats, a Zen Buddhist priest and the editor of Everyday Zen. In her novel A Tale for a Time Being, Ruth is a blocked writer living on an island off the coast of British Columbia. Her life changes when a lunchbox filled with a Japanese girls’ diary washes ashore. Not hooked yet? Watch the book trailer here:
Eleanor Catton has been shortlisted for The Luminaries, her follow-up to The Rehearsal, which was longlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction. The Rehearsal was a fevered look at a sex scandal in a private school: a quick, memorable read. The Luminaries is a historial epic — 800+ pages in length — and a murder mystery set in 19th century New Zealand. If Catton wins, she’ll be the youngest Booker Prize winner ever — how cool would that be?
Other shortlistees include:
NoViolet Bulawayo’s We Need New Names
America is the land of the free, where anyone can pull themselves up by their bootstraps and be anyone they want to be. Or can they? This novel follows Darling as she leaves the violence of Zimbabwe for the safety of Lady Liberty only to find that immigration doesn’t always live up to its promise.
Jim Crace’s Harvest
The story of an agricultural village under the threat of progress. Crace has just announced that this will be his last novel.
Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Lowland
Lahiri is best known for The Namesake, a book that remains among my many favourites. (And not just because it was a touching film starring one of my celeb crushes
Kumar Kal Penn.) The Lowland is the tale of two brothers: one who immigrates to America, and the other who stays behind.
Colm Toibin’s The Testament of Mary
Mother Mary is reimagined as a tragic heroine dealing with the senseless death of her son Jesus.
While I’m not crazy about the minimalist covers of most of these books, I’m pretty thrilled with the list. Ultimately, my heart is with my homeland and I’d like to see Ozeki or Catton take home the prize. What about you?
*Thank you as always to NetGalley for keeping me in books steeped in well-deserved accolades.