Booker Shortlist announced

The Guardian’s CultureVulture foolishly bravely posted their predictions before the short-list was announced.. and have a helping of humble pie as a reward. Both Sebastian Barry and John Banville are still in with a shout for the £50,000 Man Booker prize for their latest novels – John Banville with The Sea and Sebastian Barry for A Long Long Way – but there are plenty of other strong contenders among the short list of 6, from the 17 on the long-list, for the Man Booker Prize. Sinéad gives her reaction over at Sigla Blog. Update The instantpunditrists™ have their money on Sebastian Barry

Full short-list –

The Sea by John Banville

Arthur & George by Julian Barnes

A Long Long Way by Sebastian Barry

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

The Accidental by Ali Smith

On Beauty by Zadie Smith

If I had to place a bet now.. I’d probably tip Barnes to win [don’t quote me on that btw]

  • IP

    Our money is on Barry. It’s a Booker kinda book.

  • Denny Boy

    Well! Banville and Ishiguro made it. Two genuine voices. British publishing might just be on the mend after all.

  • Sinéad

    I agree with Denny, Ishiguro and Banville are the two I hoped would make the shortlist. The UK Times called the list “a snub to literary lions” but McEwan didn’t deserve to be on there for Saturday and I’m reading Rushdie’s book at the moment which is a bit disappointing (and I’m a fan). I have a feeling Barnes will snatch it. He’s never won before despite a couple of nominations.

  • Henry94

    Barnes is a banker. But the list is the best ever. Thank Allah Rhusdie didn’t make it.

  • Henry94

    Smith makes her pitch for the ATW vote

    Booker Prize nominee Zadie Smith has attacked British culture, describing England as a “disgusting” and “terrifying” place.
    The author, who lives in north London, told New York magazine England was full of “stupidity” and “vulgarity”.

    “When I think of England now I just think about the England that I loved, and it’s just gone,” she said.

    Smith’s novel On Beauty is one of six shortlisted for the Booker Prize for Fiction, to be decided in October.

    Explaining her dislike of England, Smith said: “It’s the way people look at each other on the train; just general stupidity, madness, vulgarity, stupid TV shows, aspirational arseholes, money everywhere.

    “It’s just a disgusting place, it’s terrifying. Maybe I’m just getting old.”

    “In a novel you’re never wrong,” she said. “Novelists aren’t intellectuals, they’re just intuitive, if they’re lucky.”

  • smcgiff

    ‘It’s the way people look at each other on the train; just general stupidity, madness, vulgarity, stupid TV shows, aspirational arseholes, money everywhere.’

    And New Yorkers will be left wondering what such life could be like, then again they’ll probably be too busy shouting ‘Go Jerry’ to read a literary article.

  • slackjaw

    ‘aspirational arseholes’

    Hmmm.

    Anyway, my money is on Julian Barnes. Not that I’ve read the book or anything, but these adjudications are rarely made on the book alone. The 19th Century is making a bit of a comeback these days, I think.

  • Denny Boy

    I’ve just discovered that there are only three judges this year, and – two of them are not native speakers of English.

    Am I alone in finding this a little bizarre?

  • fmk

    it’s a small world henry, isn’t it? 🙂

  • Animus

    Denny boy – there are five judges, all of whom are native speakers of English.

  • Animus

    Just to add – there are three judges for the Booker International Prize, two of whom are non-native speakers, but in context it is totally appropriate.

  • fmk

    “these adjudications are rarely made on the book alone” – i don’t know. the booker has often gone to outsiders. and if what you’re saying is true, then explain away mcewan, rushdie *and* coetzee. sutherland *has* said that this year it will be about the book, not the author. the booker has rarely been like the nobel, of awarding it to the dull-but-worthy of the world.

  • Animus

    Faux nostalgia is so hard to swallow, particularly in someone of Zadie Smith’s age.

  • Denny Boy

    “Just to add – there are three judges for the Booker International Prize, two of whom are non-native speakers, but in context it is totally appropriate.”

    Thanks, Animus, I misread that. And of course it’s appropriate.

  • slackjaw

    the booker has often gone to outsiders. and if what you’re saying is true, then explain away mcewan, rushdie *and* coetzee

    All I’m saying is that you can’t just shut out the outside world when you read a book, or when you decide that one book is better than the other. Wider cultural judgements come into play. I wasn’t implying anything in particular about celebrity or personality.

  • fmk

    taking into account wider issues ups barry’s chances, in my book. ‘christendom’ went down a storm in the uk (as much for donal mccann, i know). and the new book is a sort-of sequel/prequel to ‘christendom’. add in the topicality of war (the 9/11 topicality did make me think mcewan would make the long-list, bad and all as the book is) and barry is far from the outsider everyone else is painting him as.