Man Booker Prize 2014
By Rachel Reeves
The Man Booker Prize is a literary award given each year to an original novel published in the UK, is almost ensures world-wide success for the winner and is held in high esteem in literary circles. The results are in and the winner of the Man Booker Prize 2014 is…. The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan.
The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan
Born in Tasmania Richard Flanagan is one of Australia’s leading novelists, his book Gould’s Book of Fish won the Commonwealth Writer’s prize, his books have received multiple honors and have been published in twenty six countries. His father,who died on the day Flanagan finished The Narrow Road to the Deep North, was a survivor of the Burma Death Railway.
“Forever after, there were for them only two sorts of men: the men who were on the Line, and the rest of humanity, who were not.”
Richard Flanagan’s breath-taking story about love, loss and the truth. It details the life of Dorrigo Evans, an Australian surgeon living in the horror of a Japanese prisoner of war camp on the Burma Death Railway, as he is haunted by the memories of his love affair with his uncle’s wife. As he struggles to keep his men alive he receives an unexpected letter, the contents of which will change his life forever.
Short List Nominees:
J by Howard Jacobson
Howard Jacobson is a previous winner of the Man Booker Prize for his novel The Finkler Question in 2010, educated at Downing College at Cambridge, where he returned to lecture.
Set in the future – a world where the past is a dangerous country, not to be talked about or visited – J is a love story of incomparable strangeness, both tender and terrifying. Two people fall in love, not yet knowing where they have come from or where they are going. Kevern doesn’t know why his father always drew two fingers across his lips when he said a world starting with a J. It wasn’t then, and isn’t now, the time or place to be asking questions. Ailinn too has grown up in the dark about who she was or where she came from. On their first date Kevern kisses the bruises under her eyes. He doesn’t ask who hurt her. Brutality has grown commonplace. They aren’t sure if they have fallen in love of their own accord, or whether they’ve been pushed into each other’s arms. But who would have pushed them, and why?
How To Be Both by Ali Smith
Ali Smith has won the Saltire First Book Award and a Scottish Arts Council Award in 1995 for her first collection of stories titled Free Love.
Passionate, compassionate, vitally inventive and scrupulously playful, Ali Smith’s novels are like nothing else. How to be Both is a novel all about art’s versatility. Borrowing from painting’s fresco technique to make an original literary double-take, it’s a fast-moving genre-bending conversation between forms, times, truths and fictions. There’s a renaissance artist of the 1460s. There’s the child of a child of the 1960s. Two tales of love and injustice twist into a singular yarn where time gets timeless, structural gets playful, knowing gets mysterious, fictional gets real – and all life’s givens get given a second chance.Please Note: This book has a dual structure and can be read in two ways. There are two stories in the book and they can be read in either order.
Joshua Ferris’s novel Then We Came to The End was nominated for the National Book Award, won the PEN/Hemingway award, Ferris was also selected for The New Yorkers ’20 under 40′ list of Fiction Writers.
Joshua Ferris’ dazzling new novel To Rise Again at a Decent Hour is about the meaning of life, the certainty of death, and the importance of good oral hygiene. There’s nothing like a dental chair to remind a man that he’s alone in the world…Paul O’Rourke – dentist extraordinaire, reluctant New Yorker, avowed atheist, disaffected Red Sox fan, and a connoisseur of the afternoon mochaccino – is a man out of touch with modern life. While his dental practice occupies his days, his nights are filled with darker thoughts, as he alternately marvels at and rails against the optimism of the rest of humanity. So it goes, until someone begins to impersonate Paul online. What began as an outrageous violation of privacy soon becomes something far more soul-frightening: the possibility that the virtual ‘Paul’ might be a better version of the man in the flesh…
The Lives of Others by Neel Mukherjee
His first novel A Life Apart won the Vodafone Crossword Award in India, The Writers’ Guild of Great Britain Award for best fiction, and was shortlisted for the inaugural DSC Prize for South East Asian Literature. The Lives of Others is his second novel.
‘Ma, I feel exhausted with consuming, with taking and grabbing and using. I am so bloated that I feel I cannot breathe any more. I am leaving to find some air, some place where I shall be able to purge myself, push back against the life given me and make my own. I feel I live in a borrowed house. It’s time to find my own. Forgive me.’ Calcutta, 1967.
Unnoticed by his family, Supratik has become dangerously involved in extremist political activism. Compelled by an idealistic desire to change his life and the world around him, all he leaves behind before disappearing is this note . The ageing patriarch and matriarch of his family, the Ghoshes, preside over their large household, unaware that beneath the barely ruffled surface of their lives the sands are shifting. More than poisonous rivalries among sisters-in-law, destructive secrets, and the implosion of the family business, this is a family unraveling as the society around it fractures. For this is a moment of turbulence, of inevitable and unstoppable change: the chasm between the generations, and between those who have and those who have not, has never been wider. Ambitious, rich and compassionate The Lives of Others anatomies the soul of a nation as it unfolds a family history. A novel about many things, including the limits of empathy and the nature of political action, it asks: how do we imagine our place among others in the world? Can that be re-imagined? And at what cost? This is a novel of unflinching power and emotional force.
We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler
Author of the Jane Austen Book Club, which spend thirteen weeks on the New York Times bestsellers list. She has won multiple awards including World Fantasy Award in 1999 and 2011.
Rosemary’s young, just at college, and she’s decided not to tell anyone a thing about her family. So we’re not going to tell you too much either: you’ll have to find out for yourselves, round about page 77, what it is that makes her unhappy family unlike any other. Rosemary is now an only child, but she used to have a sister the same age as her, and an older brother. Both are now gone – vanished from her life. There’s something unique about Rosemary’s sister, Fern. And it was this decision, made by her parents, to give Rosemary a sister like no other, that began all of Rosemary’s trouble. So now she’s telling her story: full of hilarious asides and brilliantly spiky lines, it’s a looping narrative that begins towards the end, and then goes back to the beginning. Twice. It’s funny, clever, intimate, honest, analytical and swirling with ideas that will come back to bite you. We hope you enjoy it, and if, when you’re telling a friend about it, you do decide to spill the beans about Fern – it’s pretty hard to resist – don’t worry. One of the few studies Rosemary doesn’t quote says that spoilers actually enhance reading.