The Man Booker judges announced today the six books shortlisted for this year’s award producing a list that despite all concerns about dominance by American authors, actually has a good global spread. We have two US, three British ( the judges are classing Neel Mukherjee as British although he originates from India) and one Australian.
No surprises to find Ali Smith on the list but I wasn’t expecting to see Karen Joy Fowler make it through to the penultimate round. Perhaps I’m being unfair to her since I’m only part way through We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves. It reads very smoothly so far but I still wouldn’t out it in the same class as The Lives of Others which I read earlier this summer and enjoyed hugely. A copy of Howard Jacobson’s novel J that I reserved with my local library has just become available and will be waiting for me on my return from holidays this weekend so I should be able to read that before the winner is announced on October 14.
Anyone care to speculate which of these authors will be declared the 2015 winner? I would love to see the prize go to Neel Mukherjee but I suspect that won’t be the case and instead we will see it third time lucky for Ali Smith since her book features the kind of experimental narrative structure that the judges seem to like yet still is considered “readable”.
To Rise Again At a Decent Hour by Joshua Ferris
The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan
We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler
J by Howard Jacobson
The Lives of Others by Neel Mukherjee
How to Be Both by Ali Smith