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Wednesday 13 November 2019

Irish fail in bid to make final six of Booker list

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Meadhbh McGrath

Two Irish authors were left disappointed after missing out on the shortlist for the Man Booker prize.

Sebastian Barry and Mike McCormack had earned places on the longlist, but failed to make the cut for the final line-up of six titles, which was announced yesterday morning.

Wicklow author Barry has already taken home the Costa Book of the Year award in 2016 for 'Days Without End', while Galway-based McCormack's 'Solar Bones' scooped the Goldsmiths Prize and was named Book of the Year 2016 at the Irish Book Awards.

McCormack's novel was ineligible for entry last year as the contest states publishers must be registered in the UK.

'Solar Bones' was originally published by a small independent house, Tramp Press, whose owners Sarah Davis-Goff and Lisa Coen have spoken out about the strict rules for entry.

The pair were forced to sell the UK book rights to a British publisher, Canongate, in order to submit McCormack's work for the prize.

The six authors shortlisted are Paul Auster ('4 3 2 1'), Emily Fridlund ('History of Wolves'), Mohsin Hamid ('Exit West'), Fiona Mozley ('Elmet'), George Saunders ('Lincoln in the Bardo') and Ali Smith ('Autumn').

Mozley (29) wrote her novel on her phone during her daily commute in London.

American short story writer Saunders quickly emerged as the bookies' pick to win, with Ladbrokes giving his first novel odds of 2/1. Lola Young, chairwoman of the judging panel, described the shortlisted novels as "unique and intrepid books".

Irish Independent

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