No Deathly Hallows on the Booker long list

The long list for the Man Booker Prize for Fiction has been announced. The baker’s dozen collection of novels includes:

Darkmans by Nicola Barker (4th Estate)
Self Help by Edward Docx (Picador)
The Gift Of Rain by Tan Twan Eng (Myrmidon)
The Gathering by Anne Enright (Jonathan Cape)
The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid (Hamish Hamilton)
The Welsh Girl by Peter Ho Davies (Sceptre)
Mister Pip by Lloyd Jones (John Murray)
Gifted by Nikita Lalwani (Viking)
On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan (Jonathan Cape)
What Was Lost by Catherine O’Flynn (Tindal Street)
Consolation by Michael Redhill (William Heinemann)
Animal’s People by Indra Sinha (Simon & Schuster)
Winnie & Wolf by A.N.Wilson (Hutchinson)

In the Times Online, former judge Erica Wagner declares herself unsurprised but interested by the picks, and offers this further commentary:

“…in the age of the great conglomerate, the independent publisher is alive and well, if entries from Tindal Street and Myrmidon Books (est. 2006) are anything to go by. In a list that’s only 13 items long (last year’s list was made up of 18 books), it’s notable that four are first novels (The Welsh Girl, What Was Lost, Gifted and The Gift of Rain) – but does that mean there are any shocking omissions?

“Not really, no. I would have been awfully surprised if Ian McEwan’s On Chesil Beach wasn’t on there… but it is. Otherwise? I thought I’d see Pat Barker (Life Class), maybe Justin Cartwright (The Song Before It Is Sung), possibly Jonathan Coe (The Rain Before it Falls, no relation) – but then it’s never safe to make any bets on this kind of thing. There was a rumour that we might find Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows on the list; that’s exactly the kind of rumour I might start if I were a judge, but then I am a mischievous person and this year’s bunch are all very serious, I’m sure.”

The CBC notes that “33-year-old [Docx] has become the youngest ever nominee for the £50,000… honour.”

If he wins, perhaps he can buy a vowel.

Short list to come Sept. 6. Winner to be announced Oct. 16.

NOTE: Item updated with links to Booklist reviews of the long-listers. Only seven of the 13 were reviewed, but five of those seven received stars. That’s a solid critical track record, I think. Click on the links above to see which ones received stellar notices.



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