Peter Carey, Emma Donoghue, Damon Galgut, Howard Jacobson, Andrea Levyand Tom McCarthy have been shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize for Fiction 2010, announced Andrew Motion, former poet laureate and the Chair of judges. These authors have been selected from a long list of 16 for the following works:
Peter Carey, Parrot and Olivier in America (Faber and Faber)
Emma Donoghue, Room (Picador – Pan Macmillan)
Damon Galgut, In a Strange Room (Atlantic Books – Grove Atlantic)
Howard Jacobson, The Finkler Question (Bloomsbury)
Andrea Levy, The Long Song (Headline Review - Headline Publishing Group)
Tom McCarthy, C (Jonathan Cape – Random House)
The winner of the 2010 Man Booker Prize for Fiction will be announced on Tuesday 12 October at a dinner at London’s Guildhall and the winner will take home a cheque for £50,000. Each of the short listed authors will get £2,500 and a designer bound edition of their shortlisted book. The Prize was won by Hilary Mantel for Wolf Hall last year.
So, who are these authors who have been short listed….Here’s a little information on the short listed authors and their works.
Peter Carey: Australian novelist and short story novelist Peter Carey is the only author, apart from J.M. Coetzee to have won the Booker Prize twice. In 1988, he got the Booker for 1988 for Oscar and Lucinda, and won in 2001 for True History of the Kelly Gang. Should he win this year’s prize, he would be the first author to have won this coveted award thrice. Carey started his career with advertising and started writing novels in 1964. However it was only in 1974 that his first work was published. He has already won the Miles Franklin Award thrice and has a postage stamp released in his honor. His short listed entry, Parrot and Olivier in America “is a dazzlingly inventive reimagining of Alexis de Tocqueville’s famous journey, brilliantly evoking the Old World colliding with the New. Above all, it is a wildly funny and deeply tender portrait of two men who come to form an almost impossible friendship, and a completely improbable work of art.” (www.petercarey.com)
Emma Donoghue: Born in Dublin, Ireland, in October 1969, Emma is a playwright and novelist who took Canadian citizenship in 2004. Her 1995 novel Hood won the Stonewall Book Award (earlier known as the American Book Association’s Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Book Award) and in 2000, she received the Ferro-Grumley Award for Lesbian Fiction for Slammerkin. Her 2008 novel The Sealed Letter, was joint winner of the 2009 Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Fiction.The youngest of eight children, Emma earned her PhD in English from the University of Cambridge. Emma’s books often explore themes of sexuality, gay and lesbian relationships.
Her entry for this year’s book is about five-year-old-Jack, to whom his eleven-by-eleven-foot room is the world. It’s where he was born, it’s where he and his Ma eat and sleep and play and learn. Room is home to Jack, but to his mom, it’s the prison where she’s been held since she was nineteen-for seven long years. Through her fierce love for her son, she has created a life for him in this tiny space. But Jack’s curiosity is building alongside her own desperation-and she knows that Room cannot contain either indefinitely. Told in the inventive, funny, and poignant voice of Jack, Room is a celebration of resilience-and a powerful story of a mother and son whose love lets them survive the impossible. (details @ http://www.roomthebook.com/)
Damon Galgut: Born in Pretoria in 1963, Damon Galgut is a playwright and a novelist who was diagnosed with cancer at the age of six. As he lay in the hospital for long stretches, his relatives would read him stories and it was there that his love for story telling developed. At the age of 17, his debut novel, A Sinless Season was published . In 1991, he won South Africa’s leading literary prize and in 2003 his book, The Good Doctor (written in a hotel room in Goa) was short listed for the Booker. His entry for the Booker, is a novel of longing and thwarted desire, rage and compassion; the hauntingly beautiful evocation of one man’s search for love and for a place to call home. “A young man makes three journeys that take him through Greece, India and Africa. He travels lightly, simply. To those who travel with him and those whom he meets on the way – including a handsome, enigmatic stranger, a group of careless backpackers and a woman on the edge – he is the Follower, the Lover and the Guardian. Yet, despite the man’s best intentions, each journey ends in disaster. Together, these three journeys will change his life.” (source: www.themanbookerprize.com)
Howard Jacobson: An award winning British author and journalist, Jacobson is best known for comic novels that deal with Jewish dilemmas. During the 1970s he taught English at Wolverhampton Polytechnic in the West Midlands, and this experience led him to write his first novel, Coming From Behind in 1983. He won the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for The Mighty Walzer and his Kalooki Nights was longlisted for the Booker.
His entry for the Booker, The Finkler Question is a scorching story of friendship and loss, exclusion and belonging, and of the wisdom and humanity of maturity. Julian Treslove, a professionally unspectacular and disappointed BBC worker, and Sam Finkler, a popular Jewish philosopher, writer and television personality, are old school friends. Despite a prickly relationship and very different lives, they’ve never quite lost touch with each other – or with their former teacher, Libor Sevick, a Czechoslovakian always more concerned with the wider world than with exam results. Now, both Libor and Finkler are recently widowed, and with Treslove, his chequered and unsuccessful record with women rendering him an honorary third widower, they dine at Libor’s grand, central London apartment. It’s a sweetly painful evening of reminiscence in which all three remove themselves to a time before they had loved and lost; a time before they had fathered children, before the devastation of separations, before they had prized anything greatly enough to fear the loss of it. Better, perhaps, to go through life without knowing happiness at all because that way you had less to mourn? Treslove finds he has tears enough for the unbearable sadness of both his friends’ losses. And it’s that very evening, at exactly 11:30pm, as Treslove hesitates a moment outside the window of the oldest violin dealer in the country as he walks home, that he is attacked. After this, his whole sense of who and what he is will slowly and ineluctably change.
Andrea Levy: Born in London of Jamaican parents, Levy is a British author who won the Orange prize for fiction as well as the Commonwealth writers’ Prize for her novel, Small Island. It was in her mid-thirties that levy started writing. Her stories centred around the experiences and lives of Black Britons and are often based on personal experiences. Her Booker entry, The Long Song, goes back to the origins of that intimacy between Britain and the Caribbean. The book is set in early 19th century Jamaica during the last years of slavery and the period immediately after emmancipation. It is the story of July, a house slave on a sugar plantation named Amity. The story is narrated by the character of July herself, now an old woman, looking back upon her eventful life. (http://www.andrealevy.co.uk/biography/index.php)
Tom McCarthy: Born in 1969, Tom McCarthy is a British journalist and author whose debut novel Remainder was published in 2005 and won the fourth annual Believer Book Award. He is also a conceptual artist and has written the script for the film Double Take. His Booker entry, C follows the short, intense life of Serge Carrefax, a man who – as his name suggests – surges into the electric modernity of the early twentieth century, transfixed by the technologies that will obliterate him. Born to the sound of one of the very earliest experimental wireless stations, Serge finds himself steeped in a weird world of transmissions, whose very air seems filled with cryptic and poetic signals of all kinds. When personal loss strikes him in his adolescence, this world takes on a darker and more morbid aspect. What follows is a stunning tour de force in which the eerily idyllic settings of pre-war Europe give way to the exhilarating flightpaths of the frontline aeroplane radio operator, then the prison camps of Germany, the drug-fuelled London of the roaring twenties and, finally, the ancient tombs of Egypt. Reminiscent of Bolaño, Beckett and Pynchon, this is a remarkable novel – a compelling, sophisticated and sublimely imaginative book uncovering the hidden codes and dark rhythms that sustain life. (http://www.themanbookerprize.com/prize/books/428)
Note: the title image is the logo of the Man Booker Prize used here only to refer to the Prize.