As fun as it was to predict the longlist for this year’s Man Booker Prize, I did an utterly terrible job of it. Zero of my thirteen predictions made the actual longlist (which fills me with optimism that I’ll be able to do better next year). Without further ado, here are the nominees:
I couldn’t be more excited to see Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeleine Thien on the longlist. It’s an intergenerational saga that stretches from present day Vancouver back to 1940s China. The Globe and Mail raves that this novel “will cement Madeleine Thien as one of Canada’s most talented novelists”, and I can’t wait to read it.
The other Canadian nominee we share with the UK. David Szalay’s novel in stories All That Man Is gives us glimpses into the lives of nine males at various stages of their lives.
From the US
The US has a strong presence on the longlist with five nominees: The Sellout by Paul Beatty, a laugh out loud satire of race in America; acclaimed short story writer David Means’ Hystopia, an alternate history novel-within-a-novel; Ottessa Moshfegh’s Eileen, which the Guardian called “a courageous, masterful evocation of physical and psychological squalor”; Work Like Any Other by Virginia Reeves, a debut novel set to be published in Canada in January 2017, and Elizabeth Strout’s acclaimed My Name Is Lucy Barton.
From the UK
There are also five contenders from the UK: A.L. Kennedy for Serious Sweet, a love story that will be published in Canada in October 2016; Deborah Levy for Hot Milk, the story of a mother and daughter who travel to Spain in search of a cure for the mother’s illness; Graeme Macrae Burnet’s His Bloody Project, a historical courtroom drama set in Scotland that will be available in Canada in March 2017 (and looks amazing!); Ian McGuire’s The North Water, a tale about a 19th century Arctic whaling expedition; and The Many by Wyl Menmuir, a haunting novel about the effect a newcomer has on a small fishing village.
From South Africa/Australia
This sequel to The Childhood of Jesus will be published in Canada in October 2016. If Coetzee wins the Booker this year, he’ll be the first person to ever win the award three times. His previous wins are for The Life and Times of Michael K and Disgrace.
Anyone want to predict the shortlist*? Odds are your predictions will best mine.
*The shortlist will be announced on September 13, 2016. The winner will be announced on October 25, 2016. (Go, Madeleine Thien, go!)