The Man Booker Prize is like the Oscars of the book world, with 144 novels brought down to 13 longlisted novels which is then whittled down to the Big 6 from which the winner takes home a cool 50,000 pounds on October 17. Last year, Paul Beatty won with his sharp satire on race The Sellout – which, ironically, could not have been better timed with the state of America, making him the first American writer to win the award. With the six shortlisted authors just announced (excluding Arundhati Roy’s ‘comeback’ novel The Ministry of Utmost Happiness which was more analysed than the iPhone X), it’s time to start placing your bets…
Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders
This novel follows US president Abraham Lincoln’s son Willie, who died at 11 while Lincoln was still in office. Trapped in a posthumous limbo in a graveyard, Willie’s interactions with his mourning father begin to create unrest among his fellow spirits.
History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund
A striking debut novel about 14-year-old Linda, the daughter of ex-commune members living in rural Minnesota. The arrival of an apparently ideal family across the lake seems to promise refuge for Linda, scorned as a ‘freak’ by her schoolmates.
4321 by Paul Auster
This 800 page novel follows Archibald Ferguson through four different, simultaneous lives starting from his birth in Newark in 1947. It travels through some momentous events like the cold war and JFK.
Exit West by Mohsin Hamid
A young couple begin a furtive romance in an unnamed Middle Eastern country on the brink of war. As the conflict escalates around them, they are driven to seek a dangerous exit.
Elmet by Fiona Mozley
This debut novel is about a troubled family living in the remote area of Elmet. Brother-sister Daniel and Cathy have to deal with tensions that arise when their ‘Daddy’ and some local men turns violent.
Autumn by Ali Smith
This novel is the first in a four-part project charting the seasons. It’s been seen as a modernist excavation of British identity in the aftermath of Brexit.
By Farhad J. Dadyburjor, Mumbai