So many holidays: first Labor Day, then the announcement of the Booker Prize shortlist. Yes, the latter should be a holiday.
I watched the Booker shortlist announcement live on Twitter, and then the feed got stuck. I went to YouTube, and the same thing. But eventually I was able to skip ahead and watch/hear the announcement – though not exactly in real time.
I am very excited to announce that I have actually read three on the shortlist. This is unprecedented. And it makes me feel knowledgeable about contemporary literature, though in reality I read mostly the dead.
Here are the three I’ve read on the Booker shortlist.
:Elizabeth Strout’s Oh William! I think of Strout as a prose ballerina. Here is the link to my review.
Alan Garner’s Treacle Walker. I was not surprised that Garner made the shortlist, and indeed I love his children’s books. I did not, however, get much out of his adult novel, Treacle Walker (here is a link to my review), but being a canny citizen of the world, I predicted he would make the shortlist, or perhaps even win, because he is a British “national treasure.”
Claire Keegan’s Small Things Like These. Every word is pitch-perfect in this stunning novella. Here is a link to my review.
Here are the three I haven’t read.
NoViolet Bulawayo’s Glory
Percival Everett’s The Trees
Shehan Karunatilaka’s The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida
On the shortlist we have one Zimbabwean writer (Bulawayo), two American writers (Strout and Everett), one Irish writer (Keegan), one Sri Lankan writer (Karunatilaka), and one British writer (Garner). Karunatilaka’s The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida is not available in the U.S., but perhaps I’ll read Everett and Bulawyao. I hope I have time!
Have you read any of these? What is your reaction to the shortlist? I am always surprised that my personal favorites do not even make the longlist. I loved Monica Ali’s Love Marriage and Charlotte Mendelson’s The Exhibitionist, but shockingly I was not invited to be a judge..