Americans in Charge onto Booker Longlist in 'A Vintage Year' for Novels

The Evening Standard (London, England), July 23, 2014 | Go to article overview

Americans in Charge onto Booker Longlist in 'A Vintage Year' for Novels


Byline: Jonathan Prynn Consumer Business Editor

Neel Mukherjee for The Lives of Others Ali Smith for How to be Both Niall Williams for History of the Rain Richard Flanagan for Narrow Road to the Deep North Siri Hustvedt for The Blazing World Howard Jacobson for Paul Kingsnorth for The Wake David Mitchell for The Bone Clocks Joseph O'Neill for The Dog Richard Powers for Orfeo Joshua Ferris for To Rise Again at a Decent Hour David Nicholls for Us AMERICAN novelists have stormed into the Man Booker longlist for the first time with five writers from the other side of the Atlantic being selected.

More than 40 American titles were submitted after the rules for English literature's most prestigious prize were changed last year to allow writers from beyond the British Isles and the Commonwealth to enter.

In what chairman of the judges AC Grayling described as "a bit of a vintage year" four American writers and an Irish novelist based in New York were included in the longlist of 13.

They are Joshua Ferris's "comic theological thriller" To Rise Again at a Decent Hour; Karen Joy Fowler's story of a bizarre family experiment We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves; Siri Hustvedt's The Blazing World, a feminist take on the art scene; Richard Powers's bioterrorism tale Orfeo and Irish writer Joseph O'Neill's moral fable The Dog.

Professor Grayling, who last served as a judge in 2003, said he had expected a major influx of American entries this year following the rule change but said this was likely to be temporary as publishers scrambled to take advantage of the new opportunity. The number of submissions from the Commonwealth countries dropped from 43 to 31. …

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