The Fishermen And Man Booker

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 It’s that time of year again when the literary world is abuzz with sounds of expectation.

Dismally, we have only three Britons in running for Man Booker and I wonder if any of them could win. This year’s Long List is a very interesting one, and it hardly surprises me that only three British authors made it to this year’s List, and the reason is not far-fetched.

American authors seems to have the upper hand. Man Booker had previously been restricted to authors from the UK and Commonwealth, Republic Of Ireland and Zimbabwe but the rules were changed to allow entry to include any novel originally written in English and published in the UK, regardless of the author’s nationality.

I’m a bit irked by the low representation of British writers.

A friend quipped over dinner recently that British authors are now the sacrificial lambs but I disagreed. In my humble opinion, I think the standard of this year’s list is relatively high, and if British authors failed to secure more than three entries, that would not be the fault of the judges but that of the publishing houses. We ultimately have to be able to sniff out world-class literary works, and if we couldn’t, we could hardly blame the hard-working authors whose jobs were merely to write and leave the rest to the capable hands of publishers.

That being said, I think this year’s Long List is extraordinary. The judges had whittled down an entry of 156 books to mere 13, and I’m amazed at the amount of books read and argued on. I am particularly fond of ‘The Fishermen’ written by Nigeria’s Chigozie Obioma, it’s is a great début novel which the author of ‘The Luminaries,’ Eleanor Catton, described as  ‘awesome in the true sense of the word: crackling with life, freighted with death, vertiginous both in its style and in the elemental power of its story. Few novels deserve to be called ‘mythic’, but Chigozie Obioma’s The Fishermen is certainly one of them. A truly magnificent début.’ A very interesting read indeed! Below are all the novels that crawled into the prestigious Man Booker Prize 2015.

THE LONGLIST

A Little Life, by Hanya Yanagihara
The Fishermen, by Chigozie Obioma
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The Green Road, by Anne Enright

Sleeping on Jupiter, by Anuradha Roy

The Year of the Runaways, by Sunjeev Sahota

Lila, by Marilynne Robinson

A Brief History of Seven Killings, by Marlon James

The Chimes, by Anna Smaill

A Spool of Blue Thread, by Anne Tyler

The Moor’s Account, by Laila Lalami

Did You Ever Have a Family, by Bill Clegg
Satin Island, by Tom McCarthy

The Illuminations, by Andrew O’Hagan

I wonder which of these books should win Man Booker Prize 2015. We’ll find out on October 13 at Guildhall in London. I’ll be there!

Written by Sandra David.

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