The Man Booker Prize 2015 Longlist

Man Booker Prize Longlist 2015

The longlist for this year’s Man Booker Prize was announced today. The thirteen titles are:

  • Did You Ever Have a Family by Bill Clegg (US)
  • The Green Road by Anne Enright (Ireland)
  • A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James (Jamaica)
  • The Moor’s Account by Laila Lalami (US)
  • Satin Island by Tom McCarthy (UK)
  • The Fishermen by Chigozie Obioma (Nigeria)
  • The Illuminations by Andrew O’Hagan (UK)
  • Lila by Marilynne Robinson (US)
  • Sleeping on Jupiter by Anuradha Roy (India)
  • The Year of the Runaways by Sunjeev Sahota (UK)
  • The Chimes by Anna Smaill (New Zealand)
  • A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler (US)
  • A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara (US)

This is the second year in the history of the Man Booker Prize where authors from anywhere in the world writing in English and published in the UK have been eligible for entry, having previously only been open to authors from Commonwealth countries. This year’s longlist leans more towards authors from the United States although the geographical balance may change when this is whittled down to a shortlist of six in September. It’s also notable that Marlon James and Laila Lalami are the first Jamaican-born and Moroccan-born authors respectively to be nominated for the prize.

I found last year’s longlist a little underwhelming overall but I did enjoy the three books I read from the list: ‘Us‘ by David Nicholls, ‘The Lives of Others‘ by Neel Mukherjee and ‘How to be both‘ by Ali Smith. On this year’s list, some of the big literary names like ‘The Buried Giant‘ by Kazuo Ishiguro and the upcoming ‘Purity’ by Jonathan Franzen are notably absent and I know many were hoping that ‘A God in Ruins’ by Kate Atkinson would be recognised too. I would love to see a full list of books submitted by publishers like the one released by the Folio Prize. I had hoped to see ‘The Book of Strange New Things‘ by Michel Faber on the longlist along with ‘Academy Street‘ by Mary Costello but I don’t know if either of these novels were even considered by the judges.

Once again, I have read a grand total of 0 books on the longlist. I want to read ‘A Spool of Blue Thread’ by Anne Tyler as well as more of her earlier works such as ‘Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant’. I have also heard incredible things about ‘A Little Life’ by Hanya Yanagihara which is being talked about as one of the books of the decade. Similarly, Bill Clegg’s debut novel hasn’t been published yet but has generated a lot of interest recently.

The shortlist will be announced on 15th September followed by the winner on 13th October. What do you think of this year’s longlist? Have you read any of the novels? Which books missed out? Could this year’s Prize see the first non-Commonwealth winner?


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36 responses to “The Man Booker Prize 2015 Longlist

  1. I’ve been trying to read the long and short listed books from last year, and now here comes another list! And I’ve only read one of them. Oh well, more to read.


  2. Loved Brief History of Seven Killings. I thought the Fisherman was okay. I haven’t read any of the others. You?


  3. I used to love reading Anne Tyler’s books, but I haven’t read anything by her in a long time. I just saw her new one at the library and was thinking about checking it out. Now I think I’ll go back!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Gosh, I’m underwhelmed yet again. Barely heard of the majority and read none! A Little Life definitely at the top of the TBR when I’m ready for something chunky though…


  5. I’ve not read even a single one of these and only possess one of them, A Little Life , which I’m planning to read when I’m on holiday three weeks from now. I’m concerned about the number of American authors which seems to be at the expense of a broader range of countries


  6. I haven’t read any of them but recently bought The Green Road.


  7. It’s weird seeing a list where so many of the normal big names are absent. Maybe these are names that will become familiar with me over time. The only one that is a heavyweight name I am familiar with is Marilynne Robinson and I’ve not been drawn to Lila because it strikes me as a bit worthy. Maybe I should give it a go, I am probably wrong.


  8. Of the batch, have only read the Anne Tyler so far and would be astonished if it won the prize compared with some of her earlier novels which have discovered recently, although I did enjoy it greatly. A lot of names that are new to me, and lots of changes, so will be interesting to see which books are selected for the next round.


  9. olduvai

    I’ve read 0 books on the longlist. But I adored Yanagihara’s previous book The People in the Trees so was intending on reading A Little Life although have seen some mixed reviews of it. I love longlists though! The possibility of books to be read.


  10. A very interesting and puzzling list. Lots of very good titles that not here, like this blog I would LOVE to see the list of the 150 odd books that were put forward. I have read Anne Tyler and predicted she would find a place, interesting to see that Marianne Robison made it with pa part of a trilogy and Jane Smiley did not. Maybe the judges agreed with me about the Jane Smiley trilogy, it simply is not her best work.
    I will be reading and posting my views starting next week.


  11. I haven’t read any of these books, sadly. I hear great things about A Little Life but I’ve also heard it’s very, very dark. Right now I’m reading How to be Both (last year’s shortlist) but I’m struggling with it. I really need to read Marilynne Robinson but not quite sure where to start.


  12. Pat

    I’m tempted by The Moor’s Account if anyone out there has read it


  13. I am SO THRILLED that you have decided to follow my blog. Yours is absolutely one of my favourites. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I haven’t read any of the books on the long list, but did read A God in Ruins and absolutely loved it. It would have been a worthy contender.


  15. The Cue Card

    I too have not read any on the longlist. Sigh. But isn’t it interesting that Ishiguro did not make the list. Is there one yet that is the odds on favorite? I’m wondering a bit about A Little Life.


  16. I think this year’s longlist is pretty decent, if I compare it with last year’s. While I have heard a lot about “A Little Life,” I do think Marlon James may grab this year’s, but I haven’t read the book yet. Did read McCarthy’s Satin Island and is was utterly boring. Too jargonistic for me.

    Also, Chogozie Obioma is the second bet. Honestly, unlike Neel Mukherjee, who had a good chance of winning last year, I don’t think this time the Indian will even make the shortlist, mostly because Roy’s writing is dull.

    I was reading Ta-Nehisi Coates’s letter to his son (which was average for me) and will now start with Marlon James.


  17. Pingback: A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler | A Little Blog of Books

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