Booker Prize Short List? – My Picks –

bookstackSo I’ve now read all the books on the Man Booker Long List which are available in the US –  there are three which, unless something changes, will not be here until after the prize is awarded –

**   Sunjeev Sahota (UK) – The Year of the Runaways (Picador)
**  Anna Smaill (New Zealand) – The Chimes (Sceptre)
**  Anuradha Roy (India) – Sleeping on Jupiter (MacLehose Press, Quercus)

That said – these are my picks: (the links go to my reviews)

1  (And Winner?) Hanya Yanagihara (US) – A Little Life (Picador) 9.5
2.  Marlon James (Jamaica)  A Brief  History  of  Seven  Killings (OneworldPubs) 9.5
3.  Marilynne Robinson (US) – Lila (Virago) 9.25
4.  Bill Clegg (US) – Did You Ever Have a Family (Jonathan Cape)  9.25
5.  Chigozie Obioma (Nigeria) – The Fishermen (ONE, Pushkin Press) 9
6.  Laila Lalami (US) – The Moor’s Account (Periscope, Garnet Publishing) 9

Of the 13 Long Listed books –  (see the 4 others at the bottom of this post)
7 are by women authors
5 are by authors from the US

So if my list seems a little US-heavy – that’s maybe part of why.

And the big question –  which book will win?  –   Look at the judges –

Ellah Wakatama Allfrey  – Zimbabwe  (now London)
John Burnside – Scotland
Sam Leith – England
Frances Osborne – England
Michael Wood (Chair) – England –

I think that group might prefer a Jamaican-born over a US born –  don’t know – maybe not.  I rated my top two choices the same but I suspect I may have a small US bias (heh) –  I don’t really think so –  I’ve whole-heartedly supported the winners of the last 3 years who were from Australia, New Zealand and England.  (I wasn’t too keen on the 2011 winner – from England).


And these are the Long List books which I don’t think will make the Short List along with the rating I gave them – all kind of the same, good but not winners.

Anne Enright (Ireland) – The Green Road (Jonathan Cape) 8
Tom McCarthy (UK) – Satin Island (Jonathan Cape)  8
Andrew O’Hagan (UK) – The Illuminations (Faber & Faber) 8
Anne Tyler (US) – A Spool of Blue Thread (Chatto & Windus) 8


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