A dearth of predictions for Booker Prize 2016
Around this time of the year I’m dusting down my crystal and trying to predict what will be announced as the longlist for the Booker Prize. But with only a few days to go (the list will be announced on Wednesday, 27th July) I’m struggling. Mainly the issue is that I’ve been so focused on reading what I already own from previous years that I haven’t devoted much time to contemporary works.
Of the very few I have read, My Name is Lucy Barton is Elizabeth Strout could be a contender now that American authors are eligible. Maggie O’Farrell’s This Must be the Place is surely going to be on the list? I suspect Gail Jones A Guide to Berlin won’t make it ( the fact that I couldn’t finish it says a lot though I know others rated it more highly than I did).
Fortunately other bloggers who have their fingers on the pulse more than I do, have come up with their own predictions. Take a look at the lists from:
- A Life in Books which also highlights the Elizabeth Strout. Her list has a number of books that are on my wishlist but just haven’t got around to – yet…. http://alifeinbooks.co.uk/2016/07/my-2016-man-booker-wish-list/
- The Readers’ Room This blog is going to be running a shadow Booker event so the judges have made individual predictions. Interesting to see Annie Proux and Louise Erdich on the list – both highly acclaimed authors but because of the eligibility rules in the past were never considered for the Booker. Will this be the year they crack the barrier? https://thereadersroom.org/2016/07/18/2016-man-booker-longlist-predictions/
I’m surprised not to see Dave Eggers’s Heroes of the Frontier on any list. This is a kind state of the nation novel set in contemporary Alaska which has had good reviews so far. I think its not yet out in UK but should make it before the publication cut off date of September 30. Also from the American stable comes Ann Patchett’s The Commonwealth which is a tale of how an unexpected romantic encounter irrevocably changes two families’ lives. It’s due out in the UK on September 8. I haven’t seen any reviews for it yet but if it’s anything like the standard of Bel Canto which I read recently, it will give many other authors a run for their money.
If you feel any of your favourite authors are likely to be overlooked and yet they deserve attention, you can always put their names forward for the highly popular alternative Booker prize event hosted by the Guardian. Nominations are now open at https://www.theguardian.com/books/booksblog/2016/jul/18/not-the-booker-prize-2016-vote-for-your-favourite-book-of-the-year
18 thoughts on “A dearth of predictions for Booker Prize 2016”
I love Maggie O’Farrell! I hope her book gets nominated 🙂
‘Mothering Sunday’ by Graham Swift stands out as my favorite this year.
i haven’t read it but should have thought about him given I have been reading another novel by him this week
According to the data, Elizabeth Harrower has a good chance with ‘A Few Days in the Country’. However, I have yet to score all other shortlisted novels:
I wasnt familiar with this index until I followed the link. It;s curious that Frankenstein doesn’t score highly on the best seller list yet look about many centuries its been around and is still being read. Whereas Dan Brown stuff I canniest lasting more than two decades
I think Frankenstein has been around for a long time because it scores high on the Bond-Frankenstein (prizewinner) Index and also scores relatively well on the Bestseller Index. I agree that Dan Brown hit on an effective formula but The Davinci Code scores high only on the Bestseller Index. Thus, it has the characteristics of a bestseller but not the characteristics of a long-term classic like Frankenstein. http://michaeldalvean.com/index.php/2016/07/19/ranking-novels-on-the-bestseller-index-using-computational-linguistics/
thanks for clearing that up!
I think Strout could be a contender too and I hope The Tidal Zone by Sarah Moss is on the longlist as well (haven’t read it yet but I’ve loved all her other books).
I don’t know Sarah’s work, will have to look her up….
Wow! It’s that time of year already? I can make no predictions but I look forward to the list.
Even more scary this week I saw an advert of a bus shelter for a Christmas themed soft drink and then in the pub they were promoting their Christmas lunches. When we commented on this to the woman behind the bar she said they’d already had two parties book up!
That’s just crazy!
I haven’t been reading much in the way of contemporary fiction lately, so I’m feeling rather out of touch with these prizes. Nevertheless, it’s always interesting to see what crops up on the various lists. 🙂
I find the Guardian not the Booker list a rich source of ideas ….but dangerous for the shelves and the bank balance
Ugh, I completely overlooked O’Farrell. I probably went too heavy on the American authors on my list. I came close to including Commonwealth. In fact I think I had it on my original list then removed it for something else. Nice predictions!
I was conscious too of how many Americans I had
M\any thanks for the link. I’m pleased to see we’re agreed on Lucy Barton. I’m a fan of Ann Patchett but the last couple of titles seemed a bit below par to me. Perhaps Commonwealth will see a return to form.
I only have the one novel to use as a basis of comparison but it was also recommended by Thomas at Hogglestock (not sure if that is the correct spelling)