The shortlist for the prestigious Man Booker Prize was recently released.
Author Anne Tyler made the list for her work “A Spool of Blue Thread,” as did Chigozie Obioma for Obioma’s book “The Fishermen.” Sunjeev Sahota made the cut for the book “The Year of the Runaways” and so did Hanya Yanagihara for “A Little Life,” Marlon James for “A Brief History of Seven Killings,” and Tom McCarthy for “Satin Island.”
With “Killings” having made the cut, James became the first Jamaican author to have his or her work appear on the Man Booker shortlist.
The winner of this year’s Man Booker Prize will be announced on Oct. 13 (so no, you don’t have much time to try to read all these).
Last year’s Man Booker Prize was taken by author Richard Flanagan, who won for his work “The Narrow Road to the Deep North.”
The Man Booker Prize, which has been won by authors including Hilary Mantel, Julian Barnes, and Anne Enright, encountered controversy last year after those behind the prize announced that any book that was released in English and was available in Britain would be eligible for it. Before then, only writers who hailed from Britain, Ireland, Zimbabwe, or one of the Commonwealth countries could be eligible for the award.
The move was welcomed by some in the literary community and decried by others. “The world has changed and it no longer makes sense to split up the writing world in this way,” Kazuo Ishigoro of “Never Let Me Go” said at the time. But author Linda Grant said she thought the decision wasn’t a good one because those who aren't US citizens can’t win another major prize, the Pulitzer.
“There are two career-changing prizes, the Booker and the Pulitzer,” she said. “If the Booker is open to US authors, it will create a huge imbalance.”