Arundhati Roy’s latest work of fiction, “The Ministry of Utmost Happiness”, has made it to the longlist of this year’s The Man Booker Prize. The book came after long 20 years after since the author’s début novel “God of Small Things”, that won the Booker Prize in 1997.
The judges have described it as “a rich and vital book [that] comes from the bowels of India”. Apart from Roy’s book, 12 other novels chosen from among 144 submissions have made it to the longlist for the £50,000 prize. These novels had to be published in the UK between 1 October 2016 and 30 September 2017.
The Man Booker Prize longlist for 2017 has been announced! The list is comprised of 13 novels chosen from a list of 144 novels published (or soon to be published) in the UK between October 1, 2016 and September 30, 2017. Here’s the list!
4 3 2 1 by Paul Auster (US)
Days Without End by Sebastian Barry (Ireland)
History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund (US)
Exit West by Mohsin Hamid (Pakistan-UK)
Solar Bones by Mike McCormack (Ireland)
Reservoir 13 by Jon McGregor (UK)
Elmet by Fiona Mozley (UK)
The Ministry Of Utmost Happiness by Arundhati Roy (India)
Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders (US)
Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie (UK-Pakistan)
Autumn by Ali Smith (UK)
Swing Time by Zadie Smith (UK)
The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead (US)
- The judges this year were Baroness Lola Young (chair), Lila Azam Zanganeh, Sarah Hall, Tom Phillips, and Colin Thubron. The shortlist will be released on September 13th and the winner on October 17th. The winner receives £50,000.Some thoughts on the list:
- The gender balance is as even as you can make it with 13 books: seven men and six women.
- Five of the authors are people of color, making this a pretty diverse list, especially compared to last year when there were only three.
- There are four Americans (Americans were considered for the prize only beginning in 2013), five from the UK, two from Ireland, two with citizenship in Pakistan and the UK, and one from India
The Man Booker Prize website provides some more stats: the list contains one previous Booker Prize winner (Arundhati Roy), four previously shortlisted writers (Ali Smith, Zadie Smith, Sebastian Barry, and Mohsin Hamid), and one previously longlisted author (Jon McGregor). The list contains three debut novelists: Fiona Mozley, Emily Fridlund, and George Saunders (although Saunders has published several short story collections).