Hot Off the Press: Booker Prize List

mbp_logo_2006b.gifAs the only working reporter among the ornithological sect, my fax machine frequently rings with the latest news from the world of books. As such, let me be the first to alert you that the judging panel for the 2006 Man Booker Prize for Fiction has announced the longlist of books for this year. The Booker prize — no relation to Booker the Book Bus — is among the most prestigious in the world. A reader could do worse than spend a year plowing through past winning titles.

Without further delay — I know many of you are itching to start organizing the office pool — the longlist for the Man Booker Prize for Fiction 2006 (and links, where applicable):

Peter Carey, Theft: A Love Story (Faber & Faber)

Kiran Desai, The Inheritance of Loss (Hamish Hamilton)

Robert Edric, Gathering the Water (Doubleday)

Nadine Gordimer, Get a Life (Bloomsbury)

Kate Grenville, The Secret River (Canongate)

M.J. Hyland, Carry Me Down (Canongate)

Howard Jacobson, “Kalooki Nights” (Jonathan Cape)

James Lasdun, Seven Lies (Jonathan Cape)

Mary Lawson, The Other Side of the Bridge (Chatto & Windus)

Jon McGregor, So Many Ways to Begin (Bloomsbury)

Hisham Matar, In the Country of Men (Viking)

Claire Messud, The Emperor’s Children (Picador)

David Mitchell, Black Swan Green (Sceptre)

Naeem Murr, “The Perfect Man” (William Heinemann)

Andrew O’Hagan, “Be Near Me” (Faber & Faber)

James Robertson, The Testament of Gideon Mack (Hamish Hamilton)

Edward St. Aubyn, Mother’s Milk (Picador)

Barry Unsworth, The Ruby in her Navel (Hamish Hamilton)

Sarah Waters, The Night Watch (Virago)

The list of 19 books was chosen from 112 entries; 95 were submitted for the prize and 17 were called in by the panel of judges.

“Judging the Man Booker Prize puts you through almost as many emotions as there are in the novels,” Hermione Lee, chair of judges, said. “We’ve tried to be careful and critical judges as well as being passionately involved. We have many regrets about some of the novels we’ve left off, and we could easily have had a longlist of about 30 books, but we’re delighted with the variety, the originality, the drama and craft, the human interest and the strong voices in this longlist.

“It’s a list in which famous established novelists rub shoulders with little known newcomers. We hope that people will leap at it for their late summer reading and make up their own shortlist.”

The 2006 shortlist will be announced Sept. 14 and the winner will be announced Oct. 10.

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