Man Booker Longlist Announced

Earlier today the Man Booker judges announced the longlist for this year’s prize. The books to be included in this year’s ‘Man Booker Dozen’ (that’s like a baker’s dozen, there are thirteen titles) are as follows:

The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga (Atlantic)

Girl in a Blue Dress by Gaynor Arnold (Tindal Street Press)

The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry (Faber and Faber)

From A to X by John Berger (Verso)

The Lost Dog by Michelle de Kretser (Chatto & Windus)

Sea of Poppies by Amitav Ghosh (John Murray)

The Clothes on Their Backs by Linda Grant (Virago)

A Case of Exploding Mangoes by Mohammed Hanif

The Northern Clemency by Philip Hensher (Fourth Estate)

Netherland by Joseph O’Neill (Fourth Estate)

The Enchantress of Florence by Salman Rushdie (Jonathan Cape)

Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith (Simon & Schuster)

A Fraction of the Whole by Steve Toltz (Hamish Hamilton

Michael Portillo, chair of judges, comments:

The judges are pleased with the geographical balance of the longlist with writers from Pakistan, India, Australia, Ireland and UK. We also are happy with the interesting mix of books, five first novels and two novels by former winners. The list covers an extraordinary variety of writing. Still two qualities emerge this year: large scale narrative and the striking use of humour.

With five first novels, the list this year has passed over many of the big names in the literary world, shining a light instead for small presses, humour and horror with an eclectic selection of titles. The big runners that were expected – Damon Galgut, Tim Winton, Peter Carey, for example – have been left out of the 2008 race. I am sure that Salmon Rushdie and Amitav Gosh are able to carry the torch for the established literary world though. So, I guess it’s time to stop musing on the list and start reading through it.

The shortlist will be announced on Tuesday 9th September.

Posted by Jen Tomkins

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