One of the most coveted accolades in the literary world is to be shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. As 1996 winner Graham Swift commented, “Prizes don’t make writers and writers don’t write to win prizes, but in the near-glut of literary awards now on offer, the Booker remains special. It’s the one which, if we’re completely honest, we most covet.”
The $50,000 is quite nice as well.
Not only do authors look forward to the prize, but so too do booksellers. Following the announcements of the lists and the eventual winner, sales historically increase exponentially.
The prize is awarded yearly to the best novel written in the English language. The “longlist,” comprised of thirteen novels, was announced on July 27. That longlist was pared down to a six novels on September 7. The eventual winner will be revealed on October 12.
This year’s contenders are:
Peter Carey Parrot and Olivier in America (Faber and Faber)
Emma Donoghue Room (Picador – Pan Macmillan)
Damon Galgut In a Strange Room (Atlantic Books – Grove Atlantic)
Howard Jacobson The Finkler Question (Bloomsbury)
Andrea Levy The Long Song (Headline Review –
Headline Publishing Group)
Tom McCarthy C (Jonathan Cape – Random House)
Man Booker also offers Reading Group Guides for all of the books in contention, including the works on the longlist.