A couple of weeks ago the Man Booker Prize for Fiction shortlist was announced. The list includes six titles selected from the previous “long list” of 13. This year’s competition is significant because it is the first year in which works by American authors, in fact any authors writing in English worldwide and published in the UK, were considered. (Since the prize’s inauguration in 1969, its awarding has been restricted to authors from the United Kingdom, the British Commonwealth, Ireland or Zimbabwe.) Two Americans made the final round.
While the titles are pretty ambitious, the judges do include people outside the traditional literary circle of critics, academics, and authors, and have included poets, politicians, journalists, broadcasters, and actors. According to Ion Trewin, the literary director for the Booker Prize Foundation, this is one of the reasons regular and intelligent readers can trust the prize. Visit the Man Booker Prize website for interviews with the nominee authors and more about the prize. And check out this Guardian Books podcast to listen to a lively discussion about this year’s chosen authors.
The Moraine Valley Library has a number of past Booker winners, as well as Karen Joy Fowler’s currently shortlisted We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves. Can’t find the Booker Prize winner you are looking for? Check with one of the MV librarians for help in tracking it down.