In the wee hours of the morning, we learned the titles that made the shortlist for the 2017 Man Booker Prize, one of our favorite fiction awards here at the Library.
As a lot of news outlets have noted, there are a number of surprises in this list. The first is that many of the really big names who were a part of the longlist, including Sebastian Barry, Arundhati Roy, and Zadie Smith, did not make the shortlist. The second is that two debut authors, Emily Fridlund and Fiona Mozley, who are also the youngest nominees. For many, the final surprise is that half the list are American authors.
The bidding has begun, with bookmakers giving George Saunders’ Lincoln at the Bardo the best odds to win, and there is no doubt that speculation, debates, and a lot of reading, will be going on between now and when the final announcement is made on October 17th. But, as noted on the Man Booker website:
If there is anyone who will find the next month more relaxing than previous ones, it is the judges themselves. Not that their work is done but rather that they can take a bit more time over things. They have read each of the shortlisted books a minimum of twice already and now they will have to read them for a third time and ask themselves not which book is a contender to win but which book deserves to win. For all concerned the next four weeks will seem simultaneously a very long and a very short time. Hopefully, for a few days at least, they can all take a couple of moments to reflect – and maybe even congratulate themselves – on what they have achieved so far.
So here, without further ado, is the shortlist for the 2017 Man Booker Prize. Come in and check out these titles, and make your own educated guesses about who will win, today!
The 2017 shortlist:
4 3 2 1 by Paul Auster (US)
History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund (US)
Exit West by Mohsin Hamid (Pakistan-UK)
Elmet by Fiona Mozley (UK) (Not yet released in the US)
Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders (US)
Autumn by Ali Smith (UK)