Tuesday, July 23, 2013

2013 Man Booker prize longlist announced

The 13 titles that make up the longlist for the 2013 Man Booker Prize were announced just a few hours ago.  You can read the announcement on the Booker Prize website together with a (very) short summary of each text. For the record, the listed titles are:

  • Tash Aw, Five Star Billionaire (Fourth Estate) 
  • NoViolet Bulawayo, We Need New Names (Chatto & Windus)
  • Jim Crace, Harvest (Picador)
  • Eleanor Catton, The Luminaries (Granta)
  • Eve Harris, The Marrying of Chanai Kaufman (Sandstone Press)
  • Richard House, The Kills (Picador)
  • Alison MacLeod, Unexploded (Hamish Hamilton)
  • Colum McCann, Transatlantic (Bloomsbury)
  • Charlote Mendelson, Almost English (Mantle)
  • Ruth Ozeki, A Tale for the Time Being (Canongate)
  • Donal Ryan, The Spinning Heart (Doubleday Ireland)
  • Colm Toibin, The Testament of Mary (Viking)
  • Jhumpa Lahiri, The Lowland (Bloomsbury)

If some of these authors or titles seem unfamiliar it could be because some of these books haven't even hit the bookshops yet.  Jhumpa Lahiri's novel, set in India and America, and Eleanor Catton's novel about a woman on trial for murder during the 19th century New Zealand Gold Rush, are not due out until September which doesn't give much time for ordinary readers to get hold of them before the shortlist is announced. 

Some names are notable for their absence like Margaret Attwood and Kate Atkinson. But there are some new names too in the form of first-time authors NoViolet Bulawayo, Eve Harris and Donal Ryan. 

While the judging panel members have been congratulating themselves on selecting a very diverse list of authors and styles, how has the rest of the literary world reacted? 

  • The Guardian called it 'daring' - see their comments here 
  • The Bookseller was delighted that independent publishers were well represented 
  • The Independent led on the fact some 'big hitting' authors were missing but went on to quote a literary agency chief executive praising the vibrancy of the list  "It is one of the few longlists in recent years where I want to read more than a handful. Full of life, vibrancy and different worlds."
  • The Telegraph also highlighted the missing big name authors
What do you all think of the list? Does anyone plan to read all or some of them??


  1. I have Transatlantic on my shelf! I need to read it.

  2. I thought I had it too via Net Galley but I see it's disappeared - I took too long to start it unfortunately.

  3. As I usually do, the whole longlist is on its way to my front doorstep and I'll work through them as quickly as I can. Most years I cannot get through all novels before the shortlist but do my best to still read the lot. Of course I'll post my thoughts here (and at my own blog) as soon as I write up the reviews.

  4. Thanks for the list. I've read Tash Aw's and Ozeki's books. They are so different it's hard to compare.