From Foyle’s Books in the UK, the shortlist for the annual Man Booker Prize

Altho this prize is now open to books authored here, it’s often full of unfamiliar books not being touted in the US press. Here’s the list per Foyle’s books:

Man Booker Prize Shortlist 2018

It’s here! This year’s Man Booker shortlist has been announced: cue the Oohs, Aahs and Wows as we look over the finalists and start guessing the winner in earnest. 2018’s Booker dozen longlist spanned genre, format and theme, giving the judges plenty to choose from; they’ve whittled their way down to six books guaranteed to stimulate conversation and debate.

Milkman by Anna BurnsMilkman by Anna Burns

Set in Northern Ireland during The Troubles, Orange Prize shortlisted-author Anna Burns explores the tribalism and oppression of the time through a young narrator happier deep in 19th-century fiction than facing reality. We can’t put it better than The Guardian:

‘The narrator of Milkman disrupts the status quo not through being political, heroic or violently opposed, but because she is original, funny, disarmingly oblique and unique: different. The same can be said of this book.’

Everything Under by Daisy JohnsonEverything Under by Daisy Johnson

Daisy Johnson’s collection of short stories, Fen, was one of our debuts of the year back in 2016. Everything Under is her first full-length novel and is an atmospheric delve into the meanings of family, language and memory. Its mystical edge and mythology framing make it an absorbing read. Here’s Matt from our Web Team:

‘It’s a murky fairytale traversing the real and imagined that unwinds like a slow-running river to reveal a family secret.’

The Overstory by Richard PowersThe Overstory by Richard Powers

A ‘Moby-Dick for trees’ is how we’ve been describing this monumental, intertwining American epic of interconnected characters and lives. Wide-ranging in time and space, and with a fablelike quality, The Overstory is a magnificent and captivating work of imagination. Powers has a purpose in his writing too, to raise awareness of the delicate balance of the eco-system and our place in it; as The Atlantic says he ‘has the courage and intellectual stamina to explore our most complex social questions with originality, nuance, and an innate skepticism about dogma.’

Washington Black by Esi EdugyanWashington Black by Esi Edugyan

We’ve been Esi Edugyan fans since her Man Booker and Orange Prize shortlisted Half Blood Blues first hit the shelves. Washington Black is a young slave whose life is irrevocably and radically changed by an inventor in a flying machine, whose beguiling adventures take in a multitude of disparate landscapes. Kirsty from our Buying Team says it’s a book

‘full of vividly-drawn, lovable (and detestable) characters, this is a compulsively readable adventure set amid the world of 19th century slavery and science.’

The Mars Room by Rachel KushnerThe Mars Room by Rachel Kushner

The Mars Room deals with a challenging topic, one that Rachel Kushner handles brilliantly to produce a panoramic, unsentimental novel of life in a women’s prison and lives on the margins of society. She pulls out the human stories amid a system designed to dehumanise and destroy without flinching from the violent and shocking realities.

Jenny, from our Design Team, found it a ‘brutally honest and exposes the shattering reality of life within the American justice system.’

The Long Take by Robin RobertsonThe Long Take by Robin Robertson

Verse and prose collide in this epic noir of fragmentation in post-war America, from prize-winning Scottish poet Robin Robertson. He charts the collapse of the American Dream in a roaming, haunting and original work. Our Head of Fiction, Ben, is a huge fan:

‘A gritty, hard boiled, long-form poem sweeping across noir New York and Los Angeles, which tells the tale of a soldier suffering with PTSD and its knock-on effects, the brutality of which the poem only slows down from to remind you of the beautiful redemption life can offer.’




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