The Man Booker Prize Short List

Well, it’s that time of year again – when I get my speed reading glasses out and run through the six Booker nominated novels before the fifteenth of October when the winner is announced. The short list is, in no particular order:

We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo (Chatto & Windus)

The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton (Granta)

The Harvest by Jim Crace (Picador)

The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri (Bloomsbury)

A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki (Canongate)

The Testament of Mary by Colm Tóibín (Penguin)


There are a couple of shorter titles this year, so it should be an easier adventure.  Much has been made of the diversity of the list, so I’m looking forward to examining that as an idea.  Here is a brief from the Man Booker website from the judges about the short list:

The shortlist is a consensus: it is one that shows that the judges have wide-ranging tastes; that they are unswayed by reputations (many big names didn’t make the longlist let alone the shortlist); that they have no predilection for one particular genre; or books by one gender (there are four women and two men on the list); that they like new voices as well as familiar ones; that historical fiction has no more precedence than modern; that form is less important than quality.


I’m interested about the notion of form being less important than quality. I’m not 100% sure I know what they mean by that, but I will be reading with that in mind. I did get to read a few of the long list that didn’t make the short, and for the most part I’m glad not to see the one’s I read make the short list. I am part way through Richard House’ The Kills, and I am liking that thus far, but we shall see as I keep reading. I’ll post all my reviews of course, encouraging reading the list as always.

Stay Tuned.