The Man Booker Prize longlist for 2018 has been announced today (officially this time – it seems it was accidentally leaked by the Guardian yesterday afternoon). The 13 books are:
Snap by Belinda Bauer
Milkman by Anna Burns
Sabrina by Nick Drnaso
Washington Black by Esi Edugyan
In Our Mad and Furious City by Guy Gunaratne
Everything Under by Daisy Johnson
The Mars Room by Rachel Kushner
The Water Cure by Sophie Mackintosh
Warlight by Michael Ondaatje
The Overstory by Richard Powers
The Long Take by Robin Robertson
Normal People by Sally Rooney
From a Low and Quiet Sea by Donal Ryan
I have yet to read any of these and the only prediction I got right was ‘Normal People’ by Sally Rooney – a book I will definitely be seeking out as I really enjoyed her debut Conversations with Friends last year. I also mentioned in my predictions post that one of the judges, Val McDermid, might be looking out for crime fiction and the blurb of ‘Snap’ by Belinda Bauer features a quote from McDermid who describes it as “the best crime novel I’ve read in a very long time”. I really loved Rubbernecker when I read it a few years ago, so I definitely think it is time for me to revisit Bauer again very soon. I have also seen favourable reviews for ‘The Water Cure’ by Sophie Mackintosh, a debut dystopian novel about three sisters raised in isolation by their parents and taught to fear men.
Books which are new to me include ‘Milkman’ by Anna Burns set during the Troubles in Ireland and ‘The Long Take’ by Robin Robertson which is a narrative poem about a D-Day veteran with post-traumatic stress disorder. ‘Sabrina’ by Nick Drnaso is the first graphic novel to be longlisted for the prize (one of this year’s judges, Leanne Shapton, is also a graphic novelist) while Michael Ondaatje is nominated for ‘Warlight’ just a couple of weeks after winning the Golden Man Booker Prize for his 1992 novel ‘The English Patient’.
Overall, the novels by Rooney, Bauer and Mackintosh are the three I am keen to seek out as soon as possible and I may read others from the longlist once I know more about them. Which longlisted books are you looking forward to reading and which novels have missed out?