In what could be termed as a brutal clamp down on great novelists, notable names were summarily excluded from the Man Booker shortlist. They included Anne Enright, a former Booker winner, Marilynne Robinson who has won the Pulitzer and the Orange prize, Laila Lalami, Anuradha Roy, Anna Smaill, Andrew O’Hagan and literary agent Bill Clegg all missed out securing a place on the shortlist.
The Booker Judges chaired by Professor Michael Wood instead opted for Jamaican author Marlon James’s A Brief History Of Seven Killings, a tale about gang life in Bob Marley’s heyday and his attempted assassination. Nigerian writer, Chigozie Obioma also sailed through with The Fishermen, a story of four brothers’ attempt to understand a madman’s prediction that the eldest brother would die at the hands of one of his younger siblings.
Tom McCarthy and Sunjeev Sahota retained their positions as the only Brits left in the competition. Others are American writers Anne Pool’s A Spool Of Blue thread which details the story of four generations of the Whitshank family and A Little Life written by Hanya Yanagihara who expertly told the story of four university friends living in New York and the horrific abuse one of the friends endures through childhood.
The shortlist which was announced in London on Tuesday, 15 September, attracted mixed reactions from book lovers around the world. The winner would be announced on 13 October. It’s a matter of time before the new literary giant would join others like Hilary Mantel, Yann Martel, Ben Okri and Ian McEwan.
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