Booker Longlist Announced

The Booker Prize longlist for 2011 has been released. The judges chose books that include “one former Man Booker Prize winner; two previously shortlisted writers and one longlisted author; four first time novelists and three Canadian writers”. The longlist is:

  • Julian Barnes, The Sense of an Ending (Jonathan Cape - Random House)

  • Sebastian Barry, On Canaan’s Side (Faber)

  • Carol Birch, Jamrach’s Menagerie (Canongate Books)

  • Patrick deWitt, The Sisters Brothers (Granta)

  • Esi Edugyan, Half Blood Blues (Serpent’s Tail - Profile)

  • Yvvette Edwards, A Cupboard Full of Coats (Oneworld) - this title wasn’t reviewed by any national UK newspaper or magazine, one of four that “failed to make it on to the radar of newspaper literary editors”, according to The Guardian

  • Alan Hollinghurst, The Stranger’s Child (Picador - Pan Macmillan) - the early favourite

  • Stephen Kelman, Pigeon English (Bloomsbury)

  • Patrick McGuinness, The Last Hundred Days (Seren Books)

  • A.D. Miller, Snowdrops (Atlantic)

  • Alison Pick, Far to Go (Headline Review)

  • Jane Rogers, The Testament of Jessie Lamb (Sandstone Press)

  • D.J. Taylor, Derby Day (Chatto & Windus - Random House)

The chair of judges, Stella Rimington, commented, “We are delighted by the quality and breadth of our longlist, which emerged from an impassioned discussion. The list ranges from the Wild West to multi-ethnic London via post-Cold War Moscow and Bucharest.”

Previously, The Guardian published a speculative longlist, of which only two made the actual longlist (the first two below). We thought we’d republish it because of what it says about the lotto-like nature of such awards.

  • Alan Hollinghurst, The Stranger’s Child (“the great stylist tackles the whole of the 20th century in a disquisition on poetry and reputation”)

  • Julian Barnes, The Sense of an Ending (“At 160 pages this is on the short side for Booker novel, but if Ian McEwan’s Amsterdam could do it …”)

  • Edward St Aubyn, At Last (“this final instalment brings the semi-autobiographical Melrose saga to an elegant conclusion”)

  • Ross Raisin, Waterline (“one of the most exciting new voices of the last few years forsakes his native Yorkshire for Glasgow in an extraordinary feat of ventriloquism”)

  • Belinda McKeon, Solace (“there are usually a few debuts on the list, and this is one of the most accomplished, set against the Irish financial crash”)

  • Ali Smith, There but for the (“all the usual playfulness, but is this novel mainstream enough for the Booker?”)

  • Paul Wilson, Visiting Angel (“Manchester-set care-home novel which may appeal to chair Stella Rimington as it turns into a thriller of sorts, though less of a "whodunnit?” than a “who is it?”)

  • Lloyd Jones, Hand Me Down World (“clever picaresque of an African woman in search of her child”)

  • Tahmima Anam, The Good Muslim (“unflinchingly political second instalment of a family saga set in Bangladesh)

  • Shehan Karunatilaka, Chinaman (“match-fixers, terrorists, dodgy government officials and everything you need to know about cricket in Sri Lanka”)

  • John Burnside, A Summer of Drowning (“mythmaking in the Arctic from a poet with a gift for fictional metaphor”)

  • Anne Enright, The Forgotten Waltz (“delicately written account of adultery set against the backdrop of Dublin’s property crash”)

  • Andrew Miller, Pure (“vivid characters, picturesque setting and grand themes on eve of the French Revolution”)

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