London: Sunjeev Sahota, an Indian-origin author, is among the half a dozen authors short-listed for the prestigious 2015 Man Booker Prize for Fiction for his book ‘The Year of the Runaways’.
Sahota, who received the Granta Best Young British Novelist award in 2013, is competing with fellow authors Briton Tom McCarthy, Jamaican Marlon James, US-based Anne Tyler and Hanya Yanagihara, and Nigerian Chigozie Obioma for the prize. ‘The Year of the Runaways’, Sahota’s second book, deals with the experience of illegal immigrants from the Indian subcontinent in Britain.
Michael Wood, chair of the judges, announced the six names at a press conference held at the offices of sponsor Man Group.
This is the second year that the prize, first awarded in 1969, is open to writers of any nationality, writing originally in English and published in Britain. Previously, the prize was open only to authors from Britain and the Commonwealth, Ireland and Zimbabwe.
Sahota, a third-generation British-Indian born in 1981, debuted with ‘Ours Are the Streets’ in 2011, about a British Pakistani youth who becomes a suicide bomber.
Three of the six novels are represented by Pan Macmillan India, under its Picador imprint.
The shortlist includes James’s ‘A Brief History of Seven Killings’, an imagined oral biography told by ghosts, witnesses, killers, members of the parliament, drug dealers, conmen, beauty queens, FBI and CIA agents, reporters, journalists, and even Rolling Stones’ Keith Richards; as well as Yanagihara’s ‘A Little Life’, described as a masterful depiction of heartbreak and a dark and haunting examination of the tyranny of experience and memory.
London, October 18, 2017 : Leading American short story writer George Saunders has been declared as the winner of the 2017 Man Booker Prize for fiction for his “unique” and “extraordinary” debut novel “Lincoln in the Bardo”.
Saunders’ win was announced by Lola Baroness Young, the chair of the judging committee, at a dinner at London’s Guildhall late on Tuesday night.
He was presented with the 2017 Man Booker Prize trophy from the Duchess of Cornwall and a 50,000 pounds cheque by Luke Ellis, Chief Executive of Man Group. Saunders also received a designer bound edition of his book and a further £2,500 for being shortlisted.
Saunders thanked his wife, Paula, referring to her as his “precious friend and artistic hero” for supporting him to achieve the “wonderful honour”.
“If you haven’t noticed, we live in a strange time. So the question at the heart of the matter is pretty simple: do we respond to fear with exclusion and negative projection and violence? Or do we take that ancient great leap of faith and do our best to respond with love? And with faith in the idea that what seems other is actually not other at all, but just us on a different day,” Saunders said upon receiving the prize.
“In the US we are hearing a lot about the need to protect culture. Well this tonight is culture, it is international culture, it is compassionate culture, it is activist culture. It is a room full of believers in the word, in beauty and ambiguity and in trying to see the other person’s point of view even when that is hard.”
The 58-year-old New York resident, born in Texas, is the second American author to win the prize in its 49-year history. He was in contention for the 2017 Man Booker Prize with two British, one British-Pakistani and two American writers.
“The form and style of this utterly original novel reveals a witty, intelligent and deeply moving narrative. This tale of the haunting and haunted souls in the afterlife of Abraham Lincoln’s young son paradoxically creates a vivid and lively evocation of the characters that populate this other world. Lincoln in the Bardo is both rooted in, and plays with history, and explores the meaning and experience of empathy,” commented Young, 2017 Chair of judges.
Young’s fellow judges this year were writer and critic Lila Azam Zanganeh, novelist and poet Sarah Hall, the artist and author Tom Phillips, and the travel writer and novelist Colin Thubron
“Lincoln in the Bardo” focuses on a single night in the life of Abraham Lincoln: an actual moment in 1862 when the body of his 11-year-old son was laid to rest in a Washington cemetery. Strangely and brilliantly, Saunders activates this graveyard with the spirits of its dead.
The novel is published by Bloomsbury, making it the third consecutive year the prize has been won by an independent publisher, following Oneworld Publications’ success in 2015 with Marlon James and 2016 with Paul Beatty.
Bloomsbury has won the prize thrice before with Howard Jacobson (2010), Margaret Atwood (2000) and Michael Ondaatje (1992).
The judges considered 144 submissions for the 2017 Man Booker Prize. The books losing out on the prize were “4321” by Paul Auster (US), “Elmet” by Fiona Mozley (UK), “Exit West” by Mohsin Hamid (UK-Pakistan), “History of Wolves” by Emily Fridlund (US) and “Autumn” by Ali Smith (UK). (IANS)
Arundhati Roy’s “The Ministry’s of Utmost Happiness“, has made it to 2017 Man Booker Prize longlist
She has won the Man Booker Prize for her novel, The God of Small Things, two decades ago
The winner will be announced on October 17, 2017
New Delhi, August 6, 2017: Arundhati Roy, with her latest work of fiction, “The Ministry of Utmost Happiness“, has made it to this year’s Man Booker Prize longlist. She won the Man Booker Prize for her novel, The God of Small Things, two decades ago, making her the only author on the list to have already won the UK’s most prestigious literary prize.
The judges have described Roy’s The Ministry of Utmost Happiness, as “a rich and vital book [that] comes from the bowels of India”
With a heterogeneity of four UK, four US, two Irish, two UK-Pakistani and one Indian writer; three debuts; and three novels from independent presses, chair of judges, Baroness Lola Young stated, that only after the judges surveyed the 13 remaining contenders, they realized the diversity of their list.
“The longlist showcases a diverse spectrum – not only of voices and literary styles but of protagonists too, in their culture, age, and gender. Nevertheless, we found there was a spirit common to all these novels: though their subject matter might be turbulent, their power and range were life-affirming – a tonic for our times,” said Young.
The Booker wasn’t open to US authors until 2014. Paul Beatty is the first American author to win the literary prize, for The Sellout last year.
Among others who are featured are, Colson Whitehead who has been nominated for his Pulitzer Prize-winning book The Underground Railroad, Zadie Smith is featured for documenting the relationship between two London girls who meet at a dance class in Swing Time, while Ali Smith has been chosen for novel Autumn.
The 2017 Man Booker prize longlist: 4321 by Paul Auster (Faber & Faber) Days Without End by Sebastian Barry (Faber & Faber) History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, Orion Books) Exit West by Mohsin Hamid (Hamish Hamilton, Penguin Random House) Solar Bones by Mike McCormack (Canongate) Reservoir 13 by Jon McGregor (4th Estate, HarperCollins) Elmet by Fiona Mozley (JM Originals, John Murray) The Ministry of Utmost Happiness by Arundhati Roy (Hamish Hamilton, Penguin Random House) Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders (Bloomsbury) Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie (Bloomsbury) Autumn by Ali Smith (Hamish Hamilton, Penguin Random House) Swing Time by Zadie Smith (Hamish Hamilton, Penguin Random House) The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead (Fleet, Little, Brown)
The judges will now re-read these 13 novels and shortlist six of them, which will be announced on 13 September, before the announcement of the winner of the Man Booker on 17 October.
–prepared by Samiksha Goel of NewsGram. Twitter @goel_samiksha
Formerly called Booker-McConnell Prize, Man Booker Prize is one of the most prestigious literary awards given to an English language novel. Every year thousands of publishers send their books to the Man Booker Foundation out of which only 15-18 make it to the long list. From this long list, 5 or 6 best are shortlisted. And one becomes winner of “The Booker” in October every year.
This year has been very diverse as far as the nominations and short list are considered. Two authors from UK, two from US, and one each from Nigeria and Jamaica have made it to the final list. The winner shall be announced on October 13. Let us look briefly at this year’s shortlist.
A Brief History of Seven Killings, By Marlon James (Jamaica)
The book explores the story revolving around the attempted assassination of the Jamaican sensation Bob Marley, the aftermath of the infamous event in New York and the changed Jamaica in 1990s. The plot is interwoven with stories and confrontations of MPs, CIA members, gunmen and the drug dealers. It’s morbid, profane, elegiac and humorous, all at same time.
The book was a finalist at the 2014 National Book Critics Circle Award. It won the 2015 Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for Fiction.
Satin Island, By Tom McCarthy (UK)
Set in contemporary London, Satin Island tells the story of U – a “corporate anthropologist” working for an elite consultancy who embarks on a data-gathering project to help “decode and manipulate the world around them”.
Judges of this year said, “Satin Island offers an elegant, desperate and funny account of what might well be the world of tomorrow if it weren’t already the world of today.” (Source: BBC.com)
The Fishermen, By Chigozie Obioma (Nigeria)
Africa has produced legendary authors like Chinua Achebe and Ngugi. Chigozie Obioma is no less than them.
Mysteriously engaging pages, the uncertainty of what would unroll as the plot unfolds make this fiction an enigma that moves your heart. The book follows the story of four young brothers from a remote Nigerian village who go on fishing in a forbidden river in the absence of their father. Later the plot becomes mysterious when they encounter a madman, who foretells that the eldest will be killed by one of his brothers.
The Year of the Runaways, By Sunjeev Sahota (UK)
Three Indians living in the same house in Sheffield are in a flight from India in desperate search of a new life. The first named Tarlochan, who is a former rickshaw driver who says nothing about his past in Bihar. The second, Avatar, has a secret (that is revealed at the end, citing here would be a spoiler) that binds him to protect the third named Randeep. Randeep, in turn, has a wife in a flat on the other side of town: a clever, devout woman whose cupboards are full of her husband’s clothes, in case the immigration men surprise her with a call.
Sweeping between India and England, and between childhood and the present day, The Year of the Runaways is a story of an unlikely family thrown together by circumstance.
A Spool of Blue Thread, By Anne Tyler
‘Nostalgia’ would be the best word to describe this novel. The novel explores Abby Whitshank who always reminisces about her past as to how she and Red fell in love someday in July 1959. The whole family is sitting on the same porch in the same house, listening to the same tale for the umpteenth time. And yet this gathering is different.
From this porch we’re zoomed in back to three generations of the Whitshanks where secrets and moments unfold that have come to define the present day family.
The novel portrays pictures of a typical household but in a brilliant and engaging manner that leaves your heart stirred from the core.
A Little Life, By Hanya Yanagihara (US)
This novel reminds us a bit of the Booker winner Julian Barnes’ ‘The Sense of an Ending’. Four graduates from a small Massachusetts college move to New York aspiring for name and fortune.
However, everything gets stirred and turns upside down, when they meet an orphan named Jude who has a painful past. This fiction very enigmatically portrays tales of love, labyrinthine memories and confrontations of the present.
What unfolds when the pain of past merges with the happiness of the present, is so starkly penned down by Hanya Yanagihara that you are mesmerizingly moved at the end.