The Man Booker Prize 2013 Shortlist has just been announced. It includes:
We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo
The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton
Harvest by Jim Crace
The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri
A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki
The Testament of Mary by Colm Toibin
I have read four of the six, as the Lahiri and Catton books are not out in the States yet. I was frankly surprised that Colum McCann’s TransAtlantic wasn’t shortlisted and Colm Toibin’s The Testament of Mary was, since the latter is essentially a novella, and it has been customary not to include such short works of fiction as finalists. I think that the Ozeki novel is the sleeper in the group, and let’s see if she or Catton will be the next Canadian to claim the Prize since Yann Martel for Life of Pi in 2002. And will NoViolet Bulawayo be the first Black woman to win a Man Booker?
September 10th is almost here, and I must admit that the excitement is mounting for the announcement of the Man Booker Prize 2013 Shortlist on that date. Thirteen novels will be pared down to six. Here in the Chicago area I found only six of the thirteen to be available. These six, which I read voraciously, were Five Star Billionaire, We Need New Names, Harvest, TransAtlantic, A Tale for the Time Being, and The Testament of Mary.
I can’t help but think that McCann and Crace will be shortlisted. TransAtlantic with its blend of historical and contemporary fiction is an amazing literary work. Harvest is one of the most carefully crafted and brilliant novels that I have ever read. No Violet Bulawayo’s We Need New Names deserves serious consideration for the shortlist, and keep in mind that no Black woman has ever won the Man Booker Prize. It seems that all the hype about Jhumpa Lahiri’s soon to be released novel, The Lowland, leads me to conclude that she has an excellent chance to find herself on the shortlist.