The longlist for the Man Booker prize for fiction – a prize awarded annually to the best novel written this year by a citizen of the British Commonwealth – has been announced.
The list includes the following 13 novels, according to the Man Booker press release:
-Julian Barnes The Sense of an Ending (Jonathan Cape - Random House)
-Sebastian Barry On Canaan's Side (Faber)
-Carol Birch Jamrach's Menagerie (Canongate Books)
-Patrick deWitt The Sisters Brothers (Granta)
-Esi Edugyan Half Blood Blues (Serpent's Tail - Profile)
-Yvvette Edwards A Cupboard Full of Coats (Oneworld)
-Alan Hollinghurst The Stranger's Child (Picador - Pan Macmillan)
-Stephen Kelman Pigeon English (Bloomsbury)
-Patrick McGuinness The Last Hundred Days (Seren Books)
-A.D. Miller Snowdrops (Atlantic)
-Alison Pick Far to Go (Headline Review)
-Jane Rogers The Testament of Jessie Lamb (Sandstone Press)
-D.J. Taylor Derby Day (Chatto & Windus - Random House)
There are four debut novelists on the list: Yvvette Edwards, A.D. Miller, Patrick McGuinness, and Stephen Kelman. There are also four Canadian writers, Patrick deWitt, Esi Edugyan, Patrick McGuinness, and Alison Pick.
Alan Hollinghurst won the Man Booker prize in 2004 for "The Line of Beauty," and was also shortlisted previously 1994 for "The Folding Star." Julian Barnes and Sebastian Barry have also been shortlisted before, and Carol Birch was longlisted in 2003.
The winner of the Man Booker prize receives 50,000 pounds, with the six members of the shortlist receiving 2,500 pounds and designer bound editions of their novels, as explained on the Man Booker website.
The shortlist will be announced on Sept. 6, and the winner of the Man Booker prize on Oct. 18.
With such a wide range of subjects and authors, it's hard to find a frontrunner in the longlist selections. However the chair of the judging committee, Dame Stella Rimington, says that the committee is "delighted by the quality and breadth of the longlist, which emerged from an impassioned discussion. The list ranges from the Wild West to multi-ethnic London via post-Cold War Moscow and Bucharest."
In other words, all bets are off as to who will be the 2011 winner of one of the world's most prestigious literary prizes.
Megan Wasson is a Monitor contributor.