staggering 171 submissions – the highest number
of titles put forward in the Man Booker
Prizes 50 year history – 13 novels, which capture facets of a world on the
brink, have been longlisted for the 2018 edition of the much-coveted 50,000
pound literary award.
“Perhaps unsurprisingly, given the times, there were many
dystopian fictions on our bookshelf - and many novels we found inspirational as
well as disturbing. Some of those we have chosen for this longlist feel urgent
and topical, others might have been admired and enjoyed in any year,” Kwame
Anthony Appiah, Chair of the 2018 judges, said in a statement.
The British-born Ghanaian-American philosopher, cultural
theorist, and novelist said that all of the longlisted books - which take in
slavery, ecology, missing persons, inner-city violence, young love, prisons,
trauma, race - capture something about a world on the brink.
The longlist features a graphic novel, Nick Drnaso’s ‘Sabrina’,
for the first time, besides four debut novelists and four authors under the age
of 30. The longlist consists of six writers from the UK, three from the US, two
from Ireland and two from Canada
year’s Golden Man Booker winner Michael Ondaatje – a special one-off award that
crowned the best work of fiction from the last five decades of the prize – has
once again made it to the list with his seventh novel ‘Warlight’. Ondaatje’s
‘The English Patient’ shared the 1992 Booker Prize with ‘Sacred Hunger’ by
joined by three other authors previously nominated for the prize: Esi Edugyan
(shortlisted in 2011 for ‘Half-Blood Blues’), Donal Ryan (longlisted in 2013
for ‘The Spinning Heart’), and Richard Powers (longlisted in 2014 for ‘Orfeo’).
debutants recognised by the judges this year include eminent Scottish poet
Robin Robertson’s ‘The Long Take’, a novel in verse; Sophie Mackintosh’s ‘The
Water Cure’; Guy Gunaratne’s ‘In Our Mad And Furious City’ and Daisy Johnson’s
Johnson, aged 27, is the joint
youngest author on the list, alongside Sally Rooney (for ‘Normal People’).
The shortlist of six books will be
announced on September 20. The winner will be revealed on October 16.
As usual, the winner of the 2018 Man
Booker Prize can expect international recognition.
In the week following the 2017
winner announcement, sales of ‘Lincoln in the Bardo’ by George Saunders
increased by 1,227 per cent.
has till date sold over 230,000 copies of Lincoln across all formats – 70 per
cent of those sales coming after the win. – Agencies