Donoghue’s ROOM on Booker Long List

After winning the UK’s Man Booker Prize last year, Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall went on to big success here in the U.S. Will one of the titles on the long list of 13 candidates, announced today, follow in those footsteps when the winner is announced in October?

Buzzed about at BEA, Room by Emma Donoghue, comes out here in September, good timing to receive a boost from the October announcement. The Guardian calls it, “Perhaps the most controversial novel [on the list], inspired by the case of Josef Fritzl who kept his daughter prisoner for 24 years. The novel, which was one of 14 called in by judges – rather than being submitted by the publisher – was installed as second favourite for the prize by Ladbrokes.”  It is being published in the UK in August and will arrive here in September. The Economist says,  “…it is already being talked about as the next The Lovely Bones.”

Room: A Novel
Emma Donoghue
Retail Price: $24.99
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company – (2010-09-13)
ISBN / EAN: 0316098337 / 9780316098335

Hachette Audio; UNABR; 9781607886273; $29.98
Hachette Large Print; 9780316120579; Trade Pbk; $24.99

The London bookmakers disagree on the favorites. Reports The Guardian, “Peter Carey, one of two novelists to have won the prize twice…was immediately installed as 3-1 favourite by Ladbrokes to win for his novel Parrot and Olivier in America…The contest looks open at this stage, reflected in rival bookmaker William Hill making [The Long Song by Andrea] Levy the 4-1 favourite and Carey 7-1.”

Australian Peter Carey won the prize for Oscar and Lucinda in 1988 and True History of the Kelly Gang in 2001.

Parrot and Olivier in America
Peter Carey
Retail Price: $26.95
Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: Knopf – (2010-04-20)
ISBN / EAN: 0307592626 / 9780307592620

Blackstone Audio; UNABR; Read by Humphrey Bower

14 CD; 9781441729750;  $54.50
2 MP3CD; 9781441729781; $14.98
1 Playaway; 9781441729811;  $45.49
10 Tape; 9781441729743; $39.98

Large Print; Thorndike; 9781410428608; $30.99
OverDrive WMA Audiobook; MP3 Audiobook; Adobe EPUB eBook
The William Hill favorite is The Long Song. Jamaican-British Author Andrea Levy also wrote Small Island, which was made into two-part series that appeared on PBS Materpiece Theater this Spring. Set in Jamaica in the 19th C, The Long Song is narrated by July, a house slave on a sugar plantation.

The Long Song: A Novel
Andrea Levy
Retail Price: $26.00
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux – (2010-04-27)
ISBN / EAN: 0374192170 / 9780374192174

The British press noted the absence of some big names on the list; Martin Amis’s The Pregnant Widow, McEwan’s Solar and Salman Rushdie’s Luka and the Fire of Life (pubbing here Nov. 6).  There’s a bit of a scuffle between the Booker’s director, Ion Trewin, and Amis, who declared that literary prizes go to boring books. Perhaps in retaliation, Trewin said that it’s obvious why Amis’s Pregnant Widow is not on the list; “You’ve only got to look at the reviews to see why he isn’t there.” (The Telegraph).

To qualify, books must be written by authors from the UK and the British Commonwealth and published in the UK between October 1, 2009 and September 30, 2010, which means that several of the titles are not yet available in the U.S and others have not been scheduled for publication here. Below are the rest of the titles on the list.

Available in the U.S.

Tom McCarthy is described by The Telegraph as a relative newcomer,  “who labored seven years before finding a publisher. He has been lauded as a great new author by many in the publishing world. Zadie Smith, author of White Teeth, described his first novel Remainder as ‘one of the great English novels of the past 10 years.'”

Tom McCarthy
Retail Price: $25.95
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Knopf – (2010-09-07)
ISBN / EAN: 0307593339 / 9780307593337


David Mitchell The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet has been widely reviewed in the U.S. and shows heavy holds in libraries. This is the author’s third nomination.

This is the library favorite; it is the leader in both number of copies in the libraries we checked and number of holds.

The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet: A Novel
David Mitchell
Retail Price: $26.00
Hardcover: 496 pages
Publisher: Random House – (2010-06-29)
ISBN / EAN: 1400065453 / 9781400065455

Recorded Books; UNABR; Read by Jonathan Aris, Paula Wilcox; Click on link for ordering information.


Canadian author Lisa Moore’s February, her second after the award-winning Alligator, got a mixed reception in the NYT Book Review, after some strong prepub reviews.

Lisa Moore
Retail Price: $14.95
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Grove Press, Black Cat – (2010-02-02)
ISBN / EAN: 0802170706 / 9780802170705


Paul Murray’s Skippy Dies is coming out here later this Summer. In the UK, the Telegraph picked it for summer reading, saying, “The glorious comedy masks a barely contained fury over the hypocrisy of  the ambitions of [a Catholic school in modern-day Dublin] and the dishonesty of parents hiding their desperate materialism behind an apparent conviction in the [school’s] so-called values.” Kirkus outdid themselves with this assessment; “If Harry Potter lived in an alternate Ireland, had no real magical powers but talked a good game, and fell all over himself every time he saw a girl, he might well belong in this splendid, sardonic magnum opus.”

Skippy Dies: A Novel
Paul Murray
Retail Price: $28.00
Hardcover: 672 pages
Publisher: Faber & Faber – (2010-08-31)
ISBN / EAN: 0865479437 / 9780865479432


Rose Tremain won the Orange Prize two years ago for The Road Home. Her new book, which arrives in Oct, has not yet been reviewed prepub here.. In Canada, where it was just released, The Globe and Mail called it a “dark and powerful novel.”

Trespass: A Novel
Rose Tremain
Retail Price: $24.95
Hardcover: 272 pages
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company – (2010-10-18)
ISBN / EAN: 0393079562 / 9780393079562


Greek-Australian writer Christos Tsiolkas’ The Slap is a favorite of Penguin’s head of library marketing, Alan Walker, who featured it at PLA’s Book Buzz this year. In the UK, it has appeared  on many summer reading lists.

The Slap: A Novel
Christos Tsiolkas
Retail Price: $15.00
Paperback: 496 pages
Publisher: Penguin (Non-Classics) – (2010-04-27)
ISBN / EAN: 0143117149 / 9780143117148


Not Scheduled for Publication in the US

South African Damon Galgut’s In a Strange Room, (Grove Atlantic – Atlantic Books)

Alan Warner, The Stars in the Bright Sky, (Random House – Jonathan Cape)

Helen Dunmore, The Betrayal, (Penguin – Fig Tree); UPDATE – Grove/Atlantic has acquired the book to publish in the US

Howard Jacobson, The Finkler Question (Bloomsbury)

3 Responses to “Donoghue’s ROOM on Booker Long List”

  1. Shannon Simpson Says:

    A small correction…the Booker Prize is given for a work written by an author who is a member of the Commonwealth, not just a UK author. (That is how Christos Tsiolkas is long-listed as an Australian author)

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