The longlist announcement for the 2016 Man Booker Prize is almost upon us, and we’re excited to see which 12 or 13 books will be in the running this year to win one of the English language’s most prestigious literary prizes.
In order for a book to be eligible for inclusion on the longlist, it must have a UK publication date scheduled between 1 October 2015 and 30 September 2016 and it must have been originally written in English, irrespective of the nationality of the author.
There are a couple of other restrictions regarding the publisher of the book and their publication lists, and the author of any novel submitted for consideration must be living at the time that the novel is submitted.
You can see all the eligible books for 2016 online on Goodreads here
. So which authors do we hope make it from this list onto the longlist?
In alphabetical order, our longlist predictions are:
Julian Barnes for The Noise of Time
. Julian Barnes won the Man Booker Prize in 2011 for The Sense of an Ending
after having made the shortlist three times prior (1984, 1998, and 2005), and The Noise of Time
has been described as nothing short of a masterpiece by some of the world’s most notable reviewers.
Paul Beatty for The Sellout
. Paul Beatty’s latest novel won the 2016 National Book Critics Circle Award and has been described by critics as a ‘scorching satire that wrenches humour out of painful subjects like slavery, police violence, and segregation’.
Alain de Botton for The Course of Love
. Alain de Botton is no stranger to success. His first book Essays in Love
was published when he was 23 years-old and went in to sell two million copies. This, the sequel, has been favourably received across the world.
Don DeLillo for Zero K
. Like many of the authors on our hypothetical longlist, Don DeLillo has won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction (twice, in fact, in 1992 and 1998). His latest explores cryonics and weighs the darkness of the world against the beauty and humanity of everyday life.
Louise Erdrich for LaRose
. Louise Erdrich is an award-winning author, and her most recent novel is the story of a Native American community and its attempts to come to terms with the accidental shooting of a child.
Garth Greenwell for What Belongs to You
. Published earlier in 2016, What Belongs to You
was heralded as ‘the first great novel of 2016’ by Publishers Weekly and this debut novel has continued to impress critics ever since. The tale of an American expat pursuing a Bulgarian hustler is an examination of romantic obsession and the power struggles of a relationship.
Garth Risk Hallberg for City on Fire
. Garth Risk Hallberg’s debut novel was released in 2015 to much critical acclaim; a suitable response to a 900-page novel six years in the making.
Nathan Hill for The Nix
. Although this hasn’t been published in Australia yet (it’s coming in September), we felt we’d take a risk on The Nix
, which has been described by reviewers as ‘a mother-son psychodrama with ghosts and politics’. It’s smart and well-paced and we think it’s completely deserving of a longlist nod.
Chinelo Okparanta for Under the Udala Trees
. In 2015, the debut novel from Nigerian author Chigozie Obioma made the Man Booker Prize shortlist, and in 2016 we think Nigerian novelist Chinelo Okparanta could achieve the same result with her debut Under the Udala Trees
. Chinelo Okparanta calls for change in her novel about a young gay woman looking for God’s forgiveness, and we hope it gains the recognition it so rightly deserves.
Ann Patchett for Commonwealth
. Ann Patchett’s latest isn’t released in Australia until the end of August, but take our word for it that this powerful story of two families brought together by beauty and torn apart by tragedy is absolutely deserving of a longlisting. Ann Patchett is the Orange Prize-winning author of Bel Canto
, and this may be her best novel yet.
Annie Proulx for Barskins
. Annie Proulx’s latest novel is just shy of 750 pages and traces the lives of two families and their involvement in the descruction of the world’s forests. Although she’s never been shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, Annie won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for her 1993 novel The Shipping News
Elizabeth Strout for My Name is Elizabeth Barton
. Elizabeth Strout won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for Olive Kitteridge
, which was adapted by HBO and won six awards at the 2015 Emmy Awards. This would be Elizabeth’s first Man Booker Prize longlisting.
Rose Tremain for The Gustav Sonata
. Rose Tremain was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize back in 1989 for her novel Restoration
, and has been a judge for the award twice. This novel is set in Switzerland during the second world war and explores themes of betrayal and the struggle for happiness.
Finally, in 2014 Richard Flanagan became the fifth Australian author to win the Man Booker Prize for his novel The Narrow Road to the Deep North
. With this in mind, we would be surprised but absolutely delighted to see Charlotte Wood’s name on the longlist for the award-winning The Natural Way of Things
Leave us a comment below and let us know what you think of our predictions. Are there any titles you think we've missed?