Books - The Man Booker Dozen

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The ‘Man Booker Dozen’ longlist for the £50,000 Man Booker Prize has been announced...

This year’s longlist of 13 books was selected by a panel of five judges: Amanda Foreman (Chair); Jon Day; Abdulrazak Gurnah; David Harsent and Olivia Williams. It was chosen from 155 submissions published in the UK between 1st October 2015 and 30th September 2016.

The Man Booker Prize for Fiction, first awarded in 1969, is open to writers of any nationality, writing originally in English and published in the UK.

The 2016 longlist, or Man Booker ‘Dozen’, of 13 novels, is:

Paul Beatty - The Sellout
J.M. Coetzee - The Schooldays of Jesus
A.L. Kennedy - Serious Sweet
Deborah Levy - Hot Milk
Graeme Macrae Burnet - His Bloody Project
Ian McGuire - The North Water
David Means - Hystopia
Wyl Menmuir - The Many
Ottessa Moshfegh - Eileen
Virginia Reeves - Work Like Any Other
Elizabeth Strout - My Name Is Lucy Barton
David Szalay - All That Man Is
Madeleine Thien - Do Not Say We Have Nothing

Chair of the 2016 judges, Amanda Foreman, said ‘This is a very exciting year. The range of books is broad and the quality extremely high. Each novel provoked intense discussion and, at times, passionate debate, challenging our expectations of what a novel is and can be.  From the historical to the contemporary, the satirical to the polemical, the novels in this list come from both established writers and new voices. The writing is uniformly fresh, energetic and important. It is a longlist to be relished.’

Former double winner J.M. Coetzee makes the list with The Schooldays of Jesus. He won the then Booker Prize in 1983 with Life & Times of Michael K and then again with Disgrace in 1999, making him the first writer to win the prize twice. Deborah Levy was shortlisted for the prize in 2012 for Swimming Home. A.L. Kennedy was a judge for the prize in 1996, the year Graham Swift won with Last Orders.

Four debut novels make the longlist: Hystopia by David Means; The Many by Wyl Menmuir; Eileen by Ottessa Moshfegh and Work Like Any Other by Virginia Reeves.

Publishers large and small are represented with six titles from Penguin Random House imprints (Harvill Secker, Jonathan Cape, Hamish Hamilton, Viking); two from Simon & Schuster’s Scribner UK imprint; and five from independent publishers, including Saraband, Faber & Faber, Salt, Granta and Oneworld. Oneworld celebrated its first Man Booker success last year, when Marlon James won the prize with A Brief History of Seven Killings.

The shortlist of six books will be announced on Tuesday 13 September with shortlisted authors each receiving £2,500 and a specially bound edition of their book. The 2016 winner will then be announced on Tuesday 25 October in London’s Guildhall at a black-tie dinner, one of the highlights of the publishing year. The winner of the 2016 Man Booker Prize will receive a further £50,000 and can expect international recognition.

Last year’s winning novel, A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James, has sold over 315,000 copies to date in the UK and Commonwealth and is available in 20 languages. On winning, James mentioned ‘I just met Ben Okri and it just reminded me of how much my literary sensibilities were shaped by the Man Booker Prize.’

HBO has optioned screen rights to the novel for a series adaptation and, since winning, James has spent the year travelling around the globe, speaking at festivals as diverse as the Jaipur Festival, the Auckland Writers’ Festival, the Sydney Writers Festival, the Hay, Manchester and Brighton Festivals in the UK, the Calabash International Literary Festival in Jamaica and the Bocas Lit Fest in Trinidad and Tobago.

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