Booker Prize 2013: My Shortlist Scorecard (And Some Further Thoughts)

on Tuesday, September 10, 2013
Brace yourselves book nerds, the Booker shortlist has just been announced. Vying for literary immortality this year are:

Harvest by Jim Crace
The Testament of Mary by Colm Toibin
The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton
We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo
The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri
A Tale For The Time Being by Ruth Ozecki

Which means I picked a whopping 3 of them. That's 50%. Only eight percent less than my final exam mark for Constitutional Law. Go me!

As for the list, I don't have a great deal to say. It's strong but it's also quite safe. Team Booker have opted for the heavy hitters (Crace, Toibin, Lahiri and Ozecki) and steered clear of anything resembling experimentalism. No debuts. No balls. At least I won't have to suffer through the more twee titles that stumbled their way onto the long list. And Catton should make next week's long haul plane trip a bit more bearable. Carrying it, on the other hand, won't be much fun, especially if it falls on my head from the overhead compartment. As for the other three, I'll knock them over on the way back.

The prize is awarded on October 15. Stay tuned for my form guide. As usual, it will probably be wrong.


Evan said...

The Catton is generating some interest - from the sound of things, a doorstopper historical novel set on the goldfields of 19th century NZ, with characters based on Zodiac symbols. Sounds interesting to say the least, and you cannot help having some admiration for a 20-something who already has an 800+ page novel under her belt.
Be keen to hear your thoughts on it.

The Bookworm said...

I must say her debut, The Rehearsal, was one of the best debuts I've ever read. It's just amazing - imagine Notes On A Scandal (same theme) but done even better. It physically pains me to see all the attention Tampa is getting given that The Rehearsal was overlooked at the time and, to my mind, is damn near a masterpiece. I'm really looking forward to The Luminaries. I read the first chapter a while back and loved it.

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