Tuesday, 7 September 2010

The Man Booker Prize

Like me, I expect that many of you have been following this year’s Man Booker Prize Award. So, you must also all be very excited to know that today the Shortlist is due to be announced. In fact, Man Booker on Twitter has just tweeted that the shortlist will be announced in less than an hour. While I wait, I will give a brief overview of the Man Booker Prize on the highly unlikely off-chance that some of you do not know what the Man Booker Prize is.

The Man Booker Prize is an award designed to promote the best literary fiction. The award is given to the best novel of the year written by a citizen of the Commonwealth or the Republic of Ireland. The winner of this prestigious award receives £50,000 as well as incredible amount of publicity for his or her novel.

Even if you are not, somehow, familiar with the prize, no doubt you will have heard of some of the past prize winners, such as Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel (2009), The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga (2008) or The Gathering by Anne Enright (2007). This long-standing award (it is 42 years old) has helped to make the careers of a number of well-known, quality authors.

The Man Booker Prize has a number of stages before the winner is announced. First the judges compile The Man Booker Long list, also known as The Man Booker Dozen, consisting of around twelve or thirteen books to be considered for the award. Next is the Shortlist, where the candidates are narrowed down to six. Each author to make it to the shortlist receives £2,500 along with a hand bound copy of their book and, of course, an amazing amount of publicity. Then, finally a winner is announced.

This year the long list was announced on 27th July 2010. The list is as follows:
• Parrot and Olivier in America by Peter Carey
• Room by Emma Donoghue
• The Betrayal by Helen Dunmore
• In a Strange Room by Dalmon Galgut
• The Finkler Question by Howard Jacobson
• The Long Song by Andrea Levy
• C by Tom McCarthy
• The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by David Mitchell
• February by Lisa Moore
• Skippy Dies by Paul Murray
• Trespass by Rose Tremain
• The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas
• The Stars in the Bright Sky by Alan Warner

The List of judges includes some of the best authorities in literary fiction. The list for 2010 is:
• Sir Andrew Motion (Chair)
• Deborah Bull
• Rosie Blau
• Francis Wilson
• Tom Sutcliffe

So, that is the overview of the award and in just a few minutes I will be able to announce the books which have made the Shortlist! A final Good Luck! To all the authors in the Longlist!

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