Sunday, September 13, 2015

2015 Booker Prize Shortlist prediction (official announcement coming Tuesday 15 September)

On Tuesday 15 September the Booker Prize shortlist will be announced. In years past I'd kind of given up on following the prize but the inclusion of Satin Island, one of my favorite books of the year, pulled me back in.

The longlist this year is quite good - as usual, there are a lot of book's I'd skip out of a general lack of interest (A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler, for instance, doesn't appeal) but there are some really fantastic outliers here.

I've read four of the thirteen books so far: Satin Island, The Illuminations, The Green Road, and Lila. A Little Life (pictured) is on my stack of books to get to and I have very high hopes for it. I hear it's absolutely fantastic and I have a strong hunch it will be carried to the shortlist and even has a chance of winning.

I've written about a few of these for Run Spot Run, which can be found here:

The Illuminations by Andrew O'Hagan
Satin Island by Tom McCarthy
The Green Road by Anne Enright

I do *not* expect O'Hagan or Enright to make it to the shortlist. These two novels are perfectly fine and expertly crafted but aim for a relatively low mark (dysfunctional family returns home in the Enright, aged woman fades into dementia in the O'Hagan). These two are great books by great authors but they're not remarkable works. It's a difficult line to establish but I would hold them back from the semifinals.

Satin Island should win; the book pushes the limits of the novel and I think McCarthy is a genius. He deserves the award.

All that being said: here's my prediction of the shortlist, including books I've not read but think have a chance based on reviews and the prize committee's attempts at creating a diverse list.

Lila, by Marilynne Robinson
A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara
Satin Island by Tom McCarthy
The Fisherman by Chigozie Obioma
Did You Ever Have a Family by Bill Clegg (I've got a signed/limited coming from Powell's so fingers crossed for this one)
Sleeping on Jupiter by Anuradha Roy

I'll update again on Tuesday when we've got the final list.

Currently Reading:
Two Years Eight Months Twenty-Eight Nights by Salman Rushdie

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