2014 Man Booker Prize Longlist

They’ve announced this year’s Man Booker Prize Longlist.

  • To Rise Again at a Decent Hour, by Joshua Ferris (US)
  • The Narrow Road to the Deep North, by Richard Flanagan (Australia)
  • We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, by Karen Joy Fowler (US)
  • The Blazing World, by Siri Hustvedt (US)
  • J, by Howard Jacobson (Britain)
  • The Wake, by Paul Kingsnorth (Britain)
  • The Bone Clocks, by David Mitchell (Britain)
  • The Lives of Others, by Neel Mukherjee (Britain)
  • Us, by David Nicholls (Britain)
  • The Dog, by Joseph O’Neill (Ireland)
  • Orfeo, by Richard Powers (US)
  • How to Be Both, by Ali Smith (Britain)
  • History of the Rain, Niall Williams (Ireland)

For the first time in its history, the Man Booker Prize is open to English-language writers from anywhere in the world, making many afraid that American writers would overwhelm the field. As it happens, there are four Americans in the mix (but no one from any other newly eligible area, not that there are many other newly eligible areas).

The list does leave off some names often associated with The Man Booker Prize, such as Ian McEwan (for The Children Act), Damon Galgut (for Arctic Summer), Nicola Barker (for The Approaches), and Sarah Waters (for The Paying Guests), among others. It also leaves off, to the relief of some, the book that has been critically acclaimed in America, this year’s Pulitzer Prize winner The Goldfinch, by Donna Tartt.

The Man Booker Prize thread of The Mookse and the Gripes forum is already quite lively with discussion, so you can go there to join in the conversation.

7 thoughts on “2014 Man Booker Prize Longlist”

  1. Lee Monks says:

    Delighted that Powers is on there, it’s an exceptional piece of work. Some intriguing titles, some not so much. Grayling suggests that publishers had foisted a large number of US titles onto the panel: hasn’t paid dividends. And no Donna Tartt!

    How has David Nicholls got on there? Is he better than Donna Tartt and Will Self now? That’s an extraordinary transformation if so, from supermarket favourite to literary big-hitter.

  2. I don’t know Nicholls, and from the response I gather that’s okay! I’m also okay with no Donna Tartt. I got through the first bit of the The Goldfinch, enjoyed it quite a bit, but in the end didn’t care to pick it up again. Not saying it’s bad — I just never quite fell in.

  3. Lee Monks says:

    I think Nicholls is a bit like John Green.

    Just had a quick look on the Mookse Booker forum – Donna Tartt is a notably appreciated absentee I notice!

    If there’s a better book amongst them than Orfeo I’ll be very surprised.

  4. Michael says:

    I read something by Nicholls a few years ago…I’d put him in the Nick Hornby camp, myself. Good read but fairly insubstantial.

    I’m glad for Joshua Ferris, though I was underwhelmed by his latest. I actually prefer his previous novel, THE UNNAMED, though most people have already forgotten about it.

  5. avataram says:

    Really look forward to reading the new Joseph O’Neill – I loved his “Netherland” – a modern day twist on “The Great Gatsby” with Cricket in Staten Island. The Neel Mukherjee seems very depressing – like an Aravind Adiga, so maybe I will give it a pass.

    Somehow I feel this year David Mitchell will win it, having been nominated twice earlier. Look forward to reading that and “Orfeo” definitely.

    Netherland reminds me of a tremendous essay by Zadie Smith in the NY Review of Books titled “Two Paths for the Novel” comparing Netherland with Tom McCarthy’s Remainder. The latter is probably the best thing I have read in the last 5 years (sorry for the digression).

  6. Michael says:

    avataram: Couldn’t agree more about Remainder. Haven’t read anything quite like it.

  7. sshaver says:

    I’ll say this: those people all know how to title a book. (Not my best quality.)

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