The Man Booker shortlist was announced today. This is the first year that authors from the U.S. qualify. Far from dominating the shortlist, as some had feared, only two made the transition, Joshua Ferris and Karen Fowler.
Three are British (Howard Jacobson, Ali Smith, and Calcutta-born Neel Mukherjee) and one is Australian (Richard Flanagan).
The list is male-dominated, with only two women, Ali Smith and Karen Fowler (hello, Bailey’s Women’s Prize For Fiction, there is still a need for you).
To Rise Again at a Decent Hour, Joshua Ferris (Hachette/Little,Brown, 5/13/14)
The Narrow Road to the Deep North, Richard Flanagan (RH/Knopf. 8/12/14)
J, Howard Jacobson, (RH/Crown/Hogarth, 10/14/14, moved up from 3/10/15)
The Lives of Others, Neel Mukherjee (Norton; 9780393247909; recently acquired to be released, 10/1/14)
How to be Both, Ali Smith (RH/Pantheon; 12/2/14)
One of the big surprises is that David Mitchell’s The Bone Clocks, called by Ursula K Le Guin, “600 pages of metafictional shenanigans in relentlessly brilliant prose” and leading odds in U.K betting, did not move to the short list.
The Blazing World, Siri Hustvedt (S&S; 3/11/14; Thorndike)
The Wake, Paul Kingsnorth (Unbound) — published via the crowd-funded site Unbound; available as an ebook on Axis 360
The Bone Clocks, David Mitchell (Random House, 9/2/14; Recorded Books)
Us, David Nicholls (Harper, 10/8/14; HarperAudio)
The Dog, Joseph O’Neill (RH/)Pantheon, 10/9/14; RH Audio)
Orfeo, Richard Powers (Norton, 1/20/14; Thorndike; Recorded Books)
History of the Rain, Niall Williams (Macmillan/Bloomsbury, 5/6/14)