Thursday 19 July 2018

Huge shock as Irish writers fail to make the prestigious Man Booker prize longlist

Emma Donoghue
Emma Donoghue

Geraldine Gittens and Agency

Irish authors such as Donal Ryan, Eimear McBride, and Emma Donoghue had been hotly tipped to make this year's longlist for the Man Booker Prize.

Donal Ryan's "All We Shall Know", Eimear McBride's "The Lesser Bohemians", Emma Donoghue's "The Wonder", and Kevin Barry's "Beatlebone" all failed to be nominated by this year's judges.

Author JM Coetzee could become the first triple winner of the Man Booker Prize after being longlisted for his new novel The Schooldays of Jesus.

Only three writers - Australian Peter Carey, Wolf Hall author Hilary Mantel and South African-born Coetzee - have won the famous literacy prize twice.

The longlist features four debut novels, including The Many by British writer Wyl Menmuir, a Stockport-born freelance editor who lives on the north coast of Cornwall.

The other three debuts are by US authors David Means, Ottessa Moshfegh and Virginia Reeves.

A crime story, by Scottish writer Graeme Macrae Burnet, also makes this year's longlist in the form of His Bloody Project, a memoir exploring the life of a 19th century crofter.

The author recounts the murders, in 1869, of three people in a remote crofting community and the subsequent trial of 17-year-old Roderick Macrae, one of the writer's ancestors.

The book, released by a newcomer on the publishing scene, Contraband, features the teenager's memoir, along with court transcripts, medical reports, police statements and newspaper articles.

The longlist also features Scottish writer AL Kennedy for Serious Sweet, a novel set in a single day.

Other British names on the list are Deborah Levy (Hot Milk), Ian McGuire (The North Water) and David Szalay (All That Man Is).

Ian McEwan had been tipped to make the longlist for his new work, Nutshell, told from inside a mother's womb, but the author is absent this year.

The literary prize was opened up to US writers in 2014 and this year there are five US writers on the longlist.

First awarded in 1969, the Man Booker Prize for Fiction is open to writers of any nationality, writing originally in English and published in the UK.

Chair of the judges Amanda Foreman said: "This is a very exciting year. The range of books is broad and the quality extremely high. Each novel provoked intense discussion and, at times, passionate debate, challenging our expectations of what a novel is and can be.

"From the historical to the contemporary, the satirical to the polemical, the novels in this list come from both established writers and new voices. The writing is uniformly fresh, energetic and important."

The shortlist of six books will be announced on September 13, and the winner on October 25.

The Longlist:

Paul Beatty, The Sellout

JM Coetzee, The Schooldays of Jesus

AL Kennedy, Serious Sweet

Deborah Levy, Hot Milk

Graeme Macrae Burnet, His Bloody Project

Ian McGuire, The North Water

David Means, Hystopia

Wyl Menmuir, The Many

Ottessa Moshfegh, Eileen

Virginia Reeves, Work Like Any Other

Elizabeth Strout, My Name Is Lucy Barton

David Szalay, All That Man Is

Madeleine Thien, Do Not Say We Have Nothing

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