The Man Booker prize 2014: The longlist

Every year, the best written-in-English fiction novel will be awarded The Man Booker prize by a group of literary experts. Notable past winners include Salman Rushdie‘s Midnight Children (1981), Yann Martel‘s Life of Pi (2002) and Kiran Desai‘s The Inheritance of Loss (2006).

The longlist of 2014’s Man Booker prize

There are several stages involved in choosing a prize winner: (1) the longlist, (2) the shortlist, and (3) the winner. On 23rd of July 2014, the judging committee announced 13 books for the longlist (refer to table below). A shortlist of six titles will be announced on Tuesday 9th of September. A winner will be revealed on live television on 14th of October. In addition to the bragging rights, the winner will take home £50,000.

The Longlist

Title Author
To Rise Again at a Decent Hour Joshua Ferris
The Narrow Road to the Deep North Richard Flanagan
We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves Karen Joy Fowler
The Blazing World Siri Hustvedt
J Howard Jacobson
The Wake Paul Kingsnorth
The Bone Clocks David Mitchell
The Lives of Others Neel Mukherjee
Us David Nicholls
The Dog Joseph O’Neill
Orfeo Richard Powers
How to Be Both Ali Smith
History of the Rain Niall Williams

In previous years, only authors from the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth or the Republic of Ireland were eligible to run for the prize. However the rule has changed – there is no more nationality restriction. This year’s longlist include 4 authors from the United States of America: Joshua Ferris, Karen Joy Fowler, Siri Hustvedt and Richard Powers.

Some of the longlisted novels have yet to be published e.g. Howard Jacobson’s J (UK publication date: 25th of September 2014) and David Nicholls’s Us (UK publication date: 30th of September 2014). Both are established writers: Jacobson’s The Finkler Question won the 2010 Man Booker Prize while Nicholls’s work for TV has earned him two British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) nominations. As pointed out by one visitor at the longlist announcement (scroll down to the ‘comments’ section),

“How is the literary reading public meant to engage with the choices in any kind of informed way if no one, beyond select Booker judges, has any chance of reading them? This was not always the case … Seems very elitist and self indulgent to me.”

What do you think of this year’s longlist? Have you read any of the novels? Any book that you think got snubbed by the judging committee?

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6 thoughts on “The Man Booker prize 2014: The longlist

  1. Thanks for the post! I haven’t read any from the list but can’t wait to start reading “History of the rain”.

  2. Thanks for the comment. I need to go through the synopsis. I might check out the books after the winner is announced. 🙂

  3. I haven’t read any, but I’ve heard The Narrow Road to the Deep North described as a masterpiece, so I am REALLY excited to read it, and I love seeing Australian books getting the nod for these awards.

  4. I haven’t read any of these books yet but I’ll have to check them out and see if any take my fancy. I have to agree with the quote, it’s unfair that they include in the long list books that haven’t been released yet. How are we to form an opinion on what’s been selected if we haven’t been able to read them yet?

  5. I studied in Melbourne a decade ago so it’s great to see accomplished Australians.

    The nomination of unpublished books is seen from our (readers’) angle but what about the perspectives of other (less established) authors? How would they feel if unpublished work gets short-listed?

  6. Pingback: SS Readers Corner | The Man Booker Prize 2014: The shortlist

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