Judges unveiled the last finalists from dozens of contestants, for the most prestigious award of literature, the Man Booker Prize. The language has been the center of attraction according to the chair of the judging panel, Kwame Anthony.
Once awarded only to authors and novelists belonging to the U.K and other Commonwealth countries, the man Booker recently opened its walls to writers of any nook and corner of the world. This year’s shortlist consists of two men and four women among whom one will win the whopping $66,000 prize!
So until then, find a list below about the shortlisted titles and get ready to grab them from the stores!
- Milkman by Anna Burns:
The day Somebody McSomebody put a gun to my breast and called me a cat and threatened to shoot me was the same day the Milkman died…There is nothing like a striking beginning! Anna Burns has taken deep, courageous efforts in this story of an 18-year-old girl and her times during the Belfast troubles. The main concern of Burns has been in expressing how wars and turmoil draw politics into itself, thereby leading to the extinction of many surviving communities. The author has mixed a fair proportion of history with literature without disclosing the true name of any of the characters.
Readers, particularly those who favour history should go for this title. It’s a tale of silence, tittle-tattle with an intellectual literary merit.
- Washington Black by Esi Edugyan:
1820s. Sun-scorched sugar plantations in Barbados, British West India. An 18 year old yearning for freedom from the roots of tormenting slavery.
Esi’s Washington Black is ravishing and will strive to awaken every tinge of emotions inside the reader’s mind. For Washington, the narrator of the tale, only sweat yielded alms. The reader along with Washington moves from Barbados to the icy regions of Canada, from the buzzing streets of London to the solitary sand dunes of Morocco.
Washington Black is the story of Washington Black himself, who has the humane desire to live life without bondage. The reader gets a glimpse of the horrifying cruelty and violence that once existed and still does in the most unimaginable places in the world. A must read, undoubtedly!
- Everything Under by Daisy Johnson:
A twisted tale of mother-daughter relationships, Everything Under is a bold attempt by Daisy Johnson. She has portrayed womanhood exemplarily.
Everything under is weird and equally wild which is surprisingly unsettling for the reader. Daisy keeps the readers glued to the story all the time with her relentless language which is as dark and mysterious as the river in the book.
- The Mars Room by Rachel Kushner:
It is 2003 and Romy has been long back severed from her only son Jackson and the outside world. Stuck at Stanville’s Women Correctional facility, Romy along with several other mates is not getting hold of even the most basic amenity for survival. The acts of ragging and violence by the guards and the inmates have become usual and habitual to some, while some yearn to escape to the outside world.
With great humor and clarity, we find The mars room by Rachel compelling and spectacular with no icy toppings to convince. Every punch thrown by the book is the reality to be accepted, heartbreaking and brilliantly devastating.
- The Overstory by Richard Powers:
Richard Powers has put pen to paper and let trees do all the talking. This novel has been already termed as the ecological novel of the year and perhaps the whole decade!
Nine characters collide on an ecological fight and split away from it. There are scientists, game creators and Vietnamese. Richard has taken the effort to make every tree in his benign work speak though neither of them can stop themselves from being cut from the massive saw or the timber mills.
Powers has proved to be a historian of the modern 21st century, carefully analyzing every detail of the happenings hiding behind the bushes. He plunges out and comes to the front and that’s exactly when the readers have to answer his question- What went wrong with mankind?
6. The Long Take by Robin Robertson:
Robin Robertson has made a divine mixture of prose, verse, and photos in order to explain the journey of a World War II veteran in search for his own quiet, forgiving place in the world. It all starts while Hollywood was at the peak of glory.
Robin’s walker is the emblem of the book, the protagonist who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, utterly exhausted from all the violence and cruelty wars offered. Nova Scotia, the birthplace won’t be an option again and Walker wants to rearrange the missing pieces of his life and live a simple life with minimal pleasures. The book is one of a kind and is nothing but a Film Noir, beautifully woven into a story.
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Author: Halin Roche
Halin lives in Mumbai and is an avid reader. She loves to write on all aspects of Literature and storytelling. She is fluent in English, Tamil, Marathi, and Hindi.