Man Booker Prize 2016: bag of bold choices & young authors

Judges for top British literary award the Man Booker Prize spurned big-name novelists in favour of experimental new talent.

None of the six writers who made the cut for the coveted prize for fiction is well known outside literary circles.Those who failed to make the shortlist included Nobel Prize winner J.M. Coetzee, with “The Schooldays of Jesus”. Paul Beatty won the coveted title announced on 25th of October.

“The final six reflect the centrality of the novel in modern culture, in its ability to champion the unconventional, to explore the unfamiliar, and to tackle difficult subjects,” said president of the jury Amanda Foreman in a statement.

Nominated were Graeme Macrae Burnet’s highlands-set historical thriller “His Bloody Project”, Deborah Levy for literary fiction “Hot Milk”, Paul Beatty for his satirical “The Sellout”, debut novelist OttessaMoshfegh’s “Eileen”, David Szalay for “All That Man Is”, and Madeleine Thien’s exploration of the Chinese Cultural Revolution, “Do Not Say We Have Nothing”.

“Being innovative, being bold, courageous, a willingness to take risks, being novel within the novel — that’s what really excited us because it shows that the art form isn’t being nostalgic,” said Amanda Foreman, chair of the judges.

Here, a cheat sheet to the Man Booker Prize shortlist:

“The Sellout” by Paul Beatty (Oneworld)

Set in a fictional Los Angeles neighborhood called Dickens, the murder capital of the world, Mr. Beatty’s novel satirizes race relations in explicit language Mr. Harsent calls “part of the music of the book.” The Wall Street Journal’s Sam Sacks called it a “confrontational, scintillating satire of racial politics.”

“Hot Milk” by Deborah Levy (Hamish Hamilton)

Ms. Levy’s second shortlisted novel (after “Swimming Home”) features a dysfunctional mother-daughter relationship played out a strange clinic in southern Spain. Amanda Foreman, chair of this year’s judging panel, called the author “uncompromising.” “She writes what she wants, in the way she wants to do it,” she said.

“His Bloody Project” by Graeme Macrae Burnet (Contraband)

The Scottish Mr. Burnet’s second novel revolves around a triple murder in 1860s Scotland told through documents including witness statements, newspaper articles and medical records. It’s a coup for small, independent publishing house Saraband, a Glasgow-based operation that has never before made the shortlist.

“Eileen” by Ottessa Moshfegh (Jonathan Cape)

24-year-old Eileen narrates Ms. Moshfegh’s dark novel, about a woman caring for her alcoholic father, working at a boy’s prison and shoplifting on the side. Mr. Harsent praised the author’s ability to create “an atmosphere of threat and risk that builds to a truly startling outcome.”

“All That Man Is” by David Szalay (Jonathan Cape)

Made up of nine stories from the lives of different men of varying age and class, Mr. Szalay’s wryly funny work was praised by judges as “a composite portrait of contemporary manhood.” “It’s written with great affection, even if its central premise is a bleak one,” said Mr. Day.

“Do Not Say We Have Nothing” by Madeleine Thien (Granta Books)

Ms. Thien’s novel follows a Chinese-Canadian woman haunted by the memory of her musical and long-deceased father. The book stretches back through the Cultural Revolution and “bears witness to the cruelties that are part of revolutionary change,” said judge AbdulrazakGurnah.

 

Cover graphic : Aniruddha Das

promotional

Yatra Archives

https://creativeyatra.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/A-Walk-with-Thambi-illustrated-by-Proiti-Roy-written-by-Lavanya-Karthik-Tulika-Books.jpg How Tulika Books is creating impact in children’s lives through picture books

A children’s book about a boy who feels like a girl. And about a child brought up by grandfathers. These are some of the stories published by Tulika Books, who have been making children’s picture books since 23 years. Little…

https://creativeyatra.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/romeo-juliet-1.jpg Of youthful passion and star-crossed lovers on Shakespeare’s birthday

While the Globe is streaming free its second dramatic production Romeo and Juliet, today is 23rd April, the day William Shakespeare (1564-1616) is believed to have been born and died. One would seldom find a more spontaneous and intense expression…

https://creativeyatra.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/article-on-renaissance-artists.jpg Leonardo, Michelangelo, Raphael and Donatello—Artists or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles characters?

Did you ever wonder where the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ characters got their names from? Well, your search is complete. Here is a brief introduction of the artists from whom the creators of TMNT took inspiration. Teenage mutant ninja turtles,…

https://creativeyatra.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Dr-Yatin-Desai-Orthopaedic-surgeon.jpg The call of the mountains: orthopaedic Dr Yatin Desai’s advice on trekking

In this piece 64 year old Dr Yatin Desai, shares with CY his inspiring story of how to scale towering mountains with utmost ease and how this life adventure activity can shape human character and health. Chances are high that…