And the Winner Is

The Man Booker Prize winner for 2016 is The Sellout. 9781250083258_p0_v5_s192x300

Beatty has been compared to Jonathan Swift for his satirical modest proposal of restoring slavery and segregation in his defunct fictional town of Dickens.  I started to read the book when it won the 2015 National Book Critics Circle Award in Fiction, but I did not get very far into it before deciding to return it to the library.  Not for everyone – unless you are on the Booker committee – Beatty’s language has been compared to a Richard Pryor comedy routine – acerbic in its humor.

Beatty is the first American to win the prestigious Prize.  His other books include The White Boy Shuffle, Tuff, and Slumberland.

Although The Sellout won today, I’m saving my energy for others on the list.  Have you read it?


The Man Booker Baker’s Dozen

Unknown The anticipated Man Booker Longlist announced today has a few familiar titles but some books are not yet published in the United States.  Thirteen books made the prestigious list.

Paul Beatty’s The Sellout, a satirical assessment of racism in the United States, tops the list.  The winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award, Beatty’s novel uses a Jonathan Swift premise in his character’s modest proposal to bring back segregation and slavery.

Four other American novels on the list include Pulitzer Prize winner Elizabeth Strout’s My Name Is Lucy Barton.  The author of Olive Kitteridge and The Burgess Boys, Strout returns with a short but powerful novel as she tells the story of suffering and relationships.

Ottessa Moshfegh’s suspenseful tale, Eileen, also examines a lonely woman – this one works in a boys’ prison.  Virginia Reeves uses the setting of prison – this one in Alabama in Work Like Any Other, and David Means’ Hystopia imagines a third term for former President John F. Kennedy.

From the United Kingdom, another mother-daughter relationship is explored in Deborah Levy’s Hot Milk,  Graeme Macrae Burnet’s psychological thriller His Bloody Project looks for motivation behind a murder, Ian McGuire’s The North Water has a suspenseful journey of a  ruined doctor volunteering on a whaling ship, and Wyl Menmuir’s The Many has a strange mystery in a coastal village.

The Schooldays of Jesus from Australian Nobel prize winning author J.M. Coetzee will be published in the United States in February, 2017.  David Salzay’s All That Man, set in Prague,  will be published in October, 2016.

Canadian Madeleine Thien’s Do Not Say We Have Nothing centers on the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989 China. From the United Kingdom, A.L. Kennedy’s Serious Sweet offers “a day in the life of London lonely hearts.”  Both are not yet released in the United States.

Thirteen books to digest before the committee proclaims the short list in September, and the winner in October.