Tuesday, September 6, 2011

2011 Booker Prize Shortlist Announced!

The 2011 Book Prize shortlist was announced today.  The six books vying for the prize are:
  • Julian Barnes The Sense of an Ending 
  • Carol Birch Jamrach's Menagerie 
  • Patrick deWitt The Sisters Brothers 
  • Esi Edugyan Half Blood Blues 
  • Stephen Kelman Pigeon English  
  • A.D. Miller Snowdrops 
Stephen Kelman and A.D. Miller are both debut novelists.  Julian Barnes has been shortlisted three times, while Carol Birch was longlisted in 2003.  The winner will be announced on Tuesday, 18 October.

The Guardian calls this "A Booker shortlist long on surprises," particularly due to the omission of Alan Hollinghurst (The Stranger's Child).

What do you think of the shortlist?  Any surprises?


  1. Well I am stunned - I've been sitting for the last 45 mins digesting this news before writing. You've seen my thoughts on "Snowdrops" and although I enjoyed "The Sisters Brothers" it's not a shorlist candidate for mine. Carol Birch's and Stephan Kelman's are worthy of the list (I finished Jamrach's Menagerie a few days ago and will post a review here in the coming days, see my own blog for one I posted before the shortlist announcement). I'll get to the other two over the coming weeks.

  2. the Ghanaian connections are still on the list: Esi Edugyan (from Ghana now Canadian) and Pigeon English (with a Ghanaian character). But all the same I am shocked by this shortlist.

  3. I've now read all of the shortlisted books above, and cannot find a bad thing to say about any of them. I possibly would have gone for 'Half Blood Blues' as my winner, but won't quibble about Julian Barnes getting the award after years of quality writing. Like I said, six excellent books all very much worth reading.