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Guardian First Book Award longlist announced


From the Guardian website: The Guardian first book award was established in 1999 to reward the finest new literary talent with a £10,000 prize for an author’s first book – covers subjects from the world’s only surviving giant tortoise to a blind adventurer, Algerian refugees in Boston and the poet John Donne.

Uniquely among book awards, it is open to writing across all genres and judged by both a celebrity panel and members of the public who participate through reading groups run by Waterstone’s stores.

The titles on the longlist are:

Harbor by Lorraine Adams
Poppy Shakespeare by Clare Allan
Running for the Hills by Horatio Clare
A Thousand Years of Good Prayers by Yiyun Li
In the Country of Men by Hisham Matar
Waiting for the Night-Rowers by Roger Moulson
Lonesome George: The Lives and Loves of a Conservation Icon by Henry Nicholls
A Sense of the World: How a Blind Man Became History’s Greatest Traveller by Jason Roberts
John Donne: The Reformed Soul by John Stubbs
Everyman’s Rules for Scientific Living by Carrie Tiffany

The judges:
This year’s judging panel, chaired by the Guardian’s literary editor, Claire Armitstead, consists of G2 features editor Kath Viner, Stuart Broom of Waterstone’s, Jude Kelly, artistic director of the South Bank Centre, the authors Joseph O’Connor, Pankaj Mishra, Rose Tremain, and the author, broadcaster and commentator Greg Dyke.

Key dates:
Shortlist announced: first week of November.
Winner announced: first week of December.

I have to admit that I haven’t read any of these titles, and over half I haven’t even heard of. However, I do own one – Poppy Shakespeare – and must put it near the top of my TBR pile.

Man Booker Prize Longlist announced


The Man Booker Prize longlist was announced this week and many litbloggers have posted commentary on the selections. Per the Man Booker site: “The longlist of 19 books was chosen from 112 entries; 95 were submitted for the prize and 17 were called in by the panel of judges.”

I’m familiar with a lot of the titles, having seen them in the catalogues, but haven’t read any of them yet. I have Peter Carey’s Theft: a Love Story and Kate Grenville’s The Secret River on their way to me for review. Nadine Gordimer’s Get a Life and James Robertson’s The Testament of Gideon Mack are already on my pile for review. So now I have to have a look at the rest of the titles and decide which ones I want to try and read prior to the short list announcement on September 14 and the winner being announced on October 10.

Peter Carey – Theft: A Love Story (Faber & Faber)

Kiran Desai – The Inheritance of Loss (Hamish Hamilton)

Robert Edric – Gathering the Water (Doubleday)

Nadine Gordimer – Get a Life (Bloomsbury)

Kate Grenville – The Secret River (Canongate)

M.J. Hyland – Carry Me Down (Canongate)

Howard Jacobson – Kalooki Nights (Jonathan Cape)

James Lasdun – Seven Lies (Jonathan Cape)

Mary Lawson – The Other Side of the Bridge (Chatto & Windus)

Jon McGregor – So Many Ways to Begin (Bloomsbury)

Hisham Matar – In the Country of Men (Viking)

Claire Messud – The Emperor’s Children (Picador)

David Mitchell – Black Swan Green (Sceptre)

Naeem Murr – The Perfect Man (William Heinemann)

Andrew O’Hagan – Be Near Me (Faber & Faber)

James Robertson – The Testament of Gideon Mack (Hamish Hamilton)

Edward St Aubyn – Mother’s Milk (Picador)

Barry Unsworth – The Ruby in her Navel (Hamish Hamilton)

Sarah Waters – The Night Watch (Virago)

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