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Sunday 20 April 2014

Three Irish authors make Booker Prize long list

Colm Toibin
Pic: Mark Condren
18/8/2006
Colm Toibin

THREE Irish authors are in the running to pick up this years Man Booker Prize.

Colm Toibin makes the list for The Testament Of Mary.

It could be third time lucky for Toibin, who was shortlisted in 1999 and 2004.

The other Irish authors on the list are Colum McCann for TransAtlantic, and Donal Ryan The Spinning Heart

Also on the list is a 900-page literary thriller that was first published digitally in four parts, with the first given away in exchange for a mention on Twitter.

The Kills by Richard House, which was published in hardback this month, was initially released online one volume at a time from February with a series of short films and audio clips that add to the story.

It is one of 13 books in contention for the £50,000 prize, which was won last year by Hilary Mantel.

Writer Robert Macfarlane, who chaired the judging panel, said: "This is surely the most diverse longlist in Man Booker history: wonderfully various in terms of geography, form, length and subject. These 13 outstanding novels range from the traditional to the experimental, from the first century AD to the present day, from 100 pages to 1,000 and from Shanghai to Hendon."

House, an academic at the University of Birmingham, said the novel can be "read and enjoyed alone" but included suggestions in his book for when readers should access the extra material.

The first volume, called Sutler, was made available free of charge to any reader who sent a message about it on Facebook or Twitter.

Macfarlane said all the judges had seen "the additional content to some extent" and would take it into account when drawing up a shortlist but added that it was "by no means an advantage" over the other more traditionally-published books.

He said: "The novel has always adapted and it's a very fast-changing form and that's one reason why it's survived to the present. It shifts and changes and this is more shifting and changing than most."

A shortlist of six books will be announced in September with the winner named at a ceremony at the Guildhall in London on Tuesday October 15.

Press Association

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