Now’s your chance. The Man Booker prize longlist was released at the end of last month. The shortlist announcement takes place on September 20 and the prize for the ultimate winner for 2018 will be awarded in October.
This means there’s still time for you to get up to speed with some of the 13 books that made the first-round cut of what is arguably the world’s most important prize for books written in English. This year they include Warlight by Michael Ondaatje, who just scooped the new Golden Man Booker prize (the ultimate Booker, if you will) for his classic, The English Patient.
For the first time, there is a graphic novel in the line-up. Sabrina, by Nick Drnaso, is all about the disappearance of a young woman. Its inclusion really signals the importance of visual novels in the literary landscape — they are not just for children and comic book fans.
There’s also the new one by Irish wunderkind Sally Rooney (you either love her or loathe her) called Normal People and The Mars Room by Rachel Kushner, which centres on an American women’s correctional facility. It’s racking up rave reviews internationally.
The other nominated novels deal with everything from ecological issues to race, personal relationships and the aftermath of crime. They’re a broad church of wonderful words and worlds, for sure. Get reading.