Who’s on the £50,000 Man Booker Prize shortlist? Have you read them?
PUBLISHED: 11:09 20 September 2018 | UPDATED: 13:06 20 September 2018
Previous winners include Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall and Yann Martel’s Life of Pi
An 11-year-old slave escaping a Barbados sugar plantation to a D-Day veteran living with post-traumatic stress disorder – just two of the stories on the £50,000 Man Booker Prize shortlist for 2018.
The six shortlisted authors, titles and publishers are:
Anna Burns, Milkman (Faber & Faber)
Esi Edugyan, Washington Black (Serpent’s Tail)
Daisy Johnson, Everything Under (Jonathan Cape)
Rachel Kushner, The Mars Room (Jonathan Cape)
Richard Powers, The Overstory (William Heinemann)
Robin Robertson, The Long Take (Picador)
The 2018 winner will be announced on Tuesday, October 16 in London.
The Man Booker is a literary prize awarded each year for the best original novel written in English and published in the UK. This year is the 50th anniversary of the prize, which is akin to the literary world’s Oscars here.
Shortlisted authors each receive £2,500. The winner will get a further £50,000… and can expect instant international success.
In the week after the 2017 announcement, sales of Lincoln in the Bardo, by George Saunders, rose by 1,227%. Bloomsbury has sold more than 230,000 copies of Lincoln across all formats – 70% of those sales after the win.
‘What a range of subjects and styles and viewpoints on the world’
Peggy Hughes, programme director at the National Centre for Writing in Norwich, adds:
“It’s great to see the judges taking risks and creating a few firsts: youngest ever shortlister in Daisy Johnson; first time a graphic novel made the longlist.
“As the National Centre for Writing, we’re of course excited that linguistic invention and play has been given centre stage: all of these books are playing with the form and what it’s capable of, from Robin Robertson’s intense poetic unclassifiable noir narrative to Anna Burns’ inventive, creepy novel set during the Northern Irish troubles, and Esi Edugyan’s beguiling Washington Black, from the point of view of an 11-year-old slave on a 19th Century sugar plantation.
“This shortlist deftly speaks to our moment too, with Richard Powers’ sweeping environmental The Overstory, and Rachel Kushner’s take on gender, class and the American Dream in The Mars Room. All considered, it feels like an exciting, varied, timely list, and we can’t wait to see who wins.”
Facts about the 2018 shortlisted authors
At 27, Daisy Johnson is the youngest ever to make the shortlist, beating 2013 winner Eleanor Catton to the record.
Esi Edugyan, author of Washington Black, is the only 2018 contender to have been shortlisted previously (Half-Blood Blues, 2011).
Richard Powers, longlisted in 2014 (Orfeo), was inspired to write The Overstory by an ancient tree in California’s Santa Cruz mountain range.
Rachel Kushner spent time in US prisons to research The Mars Room, a gritty tale told from the perspective of a former lap-dancer serving two life sentences in an American women’s jail.
Anna Burns’ Milkman draws on the experience of Northern Ireland during the Troubles. Her first novel, No Bones, was also set in this period, and was shortlisted for the 2002 Orange Prize for Fiction (now the Women’s Prize).
Robin Robertson, the author of The Long Take – the first novel in verse, with photographs, to be in contention for the prize – is also the editor of Michael Ondaatje’s Warlight, which was longlisted this year.
Do you remember these previous winners or have many been forgotten?
1969: Something to Answer For, PH Newby
1970: The Elected Member, Bernice Rubens
1971: In a Free State, VS Naipaul
1972: G., John Berger
1973: The Siege of Krishnapur, JG Farrell
1974: The Conservationist, Nadine Gordimer; and Holiday, Stanley Middleton
1975: Heat and Dust, Ruth Prawer Jhabvala
1976: Saville, David Storey
1977: Staying On, Paul Scott
1978: The Sea, the Sea, Iris Murdoch
1979: Offshore, Penelope Fitzgerald
1980: Rites of Passage, William Golding
1981: Midnight’s Children, Salman Rushdie
1982: Schindler’s Ark, Thomas Keneally
1983: Life & Times of Michael K, JM Coetzee
1984: Hotel du Lac, Anita Brookner
1985: The Bone People, Keri Hulme
1986: The Old Devils, Kingsley Amis
1987: Moon Tiger, Penelope Lively
1988: Oscar and Lucinda, Peter Carey
1989: The Remains of the Day, Kazuo Ishiguro
1990: Possession, AS Byatt
1991: The Famished Road, Ben Okri
1992: The English Patient, Michael Ondaatje; and Sacred Hunger, Barry Unsworth
1993: Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha, Roddy Doyle
1994: How Late It Was, How Late, James Kelman
1995: The Ghost Road, Pat Barker
1996: Last Orders, Graham Swift
1997: The God of Small Things, Arundhati Roy
1998: Amsterdam, Ian McEwan
1999: Disgrace, JM Coetzee
2000: The Blind Assassin, Margaret Atwood
2001: True History of the Kelly Gang, Peter Carey
2002: Life of Pi, Yann Martel
2003: Vernon God Little, DBC Pierre
2004: The Line of Beauty, Alan Hollinghurst
2005: The Sea, John Banville
2006: The Inheritance of Loss, Kiran Desai
2007: The Gathering, Anne Enright
2008: The White Tiger, Aravind Adiga
2009: Wolf Hall, Hilary Mantel
2010: The Finkler Question, Howard Jacobson
2011: The Sense of an Ending, Julian Barnes
2012: Bring Up the Bodies, Hilary Mantel
2013: The Luminaries, Eleanor Catton
2014: The Narrow Road to the Deep North, Richard Flanagan
2015: A Brief History of Seven Killings, Marlon James
2016: The Sellout, Paul Beatty
2017: Lincoln in the Bardo, George Saunders