The Man Booker judges confounded us once again when they announced today the shortlisted titles for the 2015 Man Booker Prize. OK so the bookmakers favourite A Little Life was shortlisted but the hotly tipped Did You Ever Have a Family went out of the running as was one of the biggest names on the long list; Marilynne Robinson with Lila.
Which leaves us with these six titles:
- Marlon James (Jamaica) – A Brief History of Seven Killings (Oneworld Publications)
- Tom McCarthy (UK) – Satin Island (Jonathan Cape)
- Chigozie Obioma (Nigeria) – The Fishermen (ONE, Pushkin Press)
- Sunjeev Sahota (UK) – The Year of the Runaways (Picador)
- Anne Tyler (US) – A Spool of Blue Thread (Chatto & Windus)
- Hanya Yanagihara (US) – A Little Life (Picador)
I can’t really judge which of these will be the likely one to giant ultimate prize since I’ve read only one – A Little Life (review posted here). I did find that extraordinary though not without its flaws. And I have The Fishermen lined up to read once I’ve finished another long listed title Did You Ever Have a Family.
What I like about this shortlist however is the mix of genres and countries represented. It helps mitigate the flak over the inclusion of American authors since last year.
I’d love to be a fly on the wall as the judges pontificate over the next few weeks before reaching their decision about the winner. An article in The Daily Telegraph today gives some insight into the behind the scenes tantrums of various winners from the past – may the judges are equally as temperamental?