BREAKING NEWS: Longlist For The 2014 Man Booker Prize announced

Howard Jacobson, David Mitchell and Ali Smith are among the British heavyweight writers who will compete for the Man Booker prize in its first incarnation as a global literary award.

Australia’s own Richard Flanagan has also made the cut with his stunning novel The Narrow Road to the Deep North.

Thirteen novels were named on the longlist for the prize which for more than 40 years has rewarded only Commonwealth writers. The rules changed last year, sparking fears that it would quickly be dominated by Americans. Despite four Americans being longlisted, chair of judges, the philosopher AC Grayling, said it had been “a vintage year”.

Take a closer look at the 2014 Longlist, and be your own judge…

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Man Booker Prize 2013 – Who will win?

The 2013 Man Booker Prize will be announced Wednesday morning (our time) in London. Stay tuned to our twitter and blog for live updates ahead of the big announcement.

Speaking of time, there’s not much of it left for you to take a gander at the contenders and make your own mind up as to who will be crowned the 2013 Man Booker Prize Winner.

Take a closer look at the 2013 Shortlist, and be your own judge…
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Hilary Mantel : “Well, I don’t know, you wait 20 years for a Booker Prize and two come along at once.”

From the Man Booker website: Hilary Mantel is tonight named the winner of the £50,000 ($81,000) Man Booker Prize for Fiction for her novel Bring up the Bodies, published by Fourth Estate.

Hilary Mantel is the first woman and the first British author to win the prize twice. She is only the third double winner alongside J.M. Coetzee and Peter Carey. She is also the first person to win the prize for two novels in a trilogy, following her success in 2009 with Wolf Hall.

Hilary was previously longlisted in 2005 for Beyond Black. She was also a judge for the prize in 1990 when A.S. Byatt won with Possession.

Bring up the Bodies is the second win for Fourth Estate, following the success of Wolf Hall. The second book in Mantel’s trilogy about the life of Thomas Cromwell, Bring up the Bodies charts the bloody downfall of Anne Boleyn. Mantel has been widely praised for her rich ‘descriptive intimacy’ (Telegraph), ‘novelistic intelligence’ (New Yorker) and ability to transport the reader to the fifteenth century. Margaret Atwood praised her in The Guardian, saying ‘literary invention does not fail her: she’s as deft and verbally adroit as ever’, whilst the judges admired Mantel’s ‘even greater mastery of method, her powerful realism in the separateness of past and present – and the vivid depiction of English character and landscape’.

Sir Peter Stothard, Chair of judges, made the announcement at the awards dinner which was televised live by the BBC from London’s Guildhall. Mantel was presented with a cheque for £50,000 by Peter Clarke, Chief Executive of Man.

Sir Peter comments: ‘This double accolade is uniquely deserved. Hilary Mantel has rewritten the rules for historical fiction. In Bring up the Bodies, our greatest modern writer retells the origins of modern England.’

Winning the prize in 2009 brought Hilary Mantel worldwide recognition and record sales; winning the prize this year will mean a further considerable increase. In addition to her £50,000 prize, she was also given, along with the rest of the 2012 shortlist, £2,500 and a specially commissioned handbound edition of her book.

Stothard was joined on the 2012 judging panel by: Dinah Birch, academic and literary critic; Amanda Foreman, historian, writer and broadcaster; Dan Stevens, actor; and Bharat Tandon, academic, writer and reviewer.

This year’s shortlist has been widely acclaimed. With the judging panel’s emphasis on the role of the novelist in renewing the English language, the media has celebrated the ‘return of the literary novel’ with the Man Booker Prize.

Click here to buy Bring up the Bodies from Booktopia, Australia’s No.1 Online Book Shop

Kate Grenville, author of Sarah Thornhill, The Secret River and more, answers Ten Terrifying Questions

The Booktopia Book Guru asks

Orange Prize and
Commonwealth Writers’ Prize winner

Kate Grenville

author of Sarah Thornhill
The Lieutenant
The Secret River
and more

Ten Terrifying Questions


1. To begin with why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself – where were you born? Raised? Schooled?

I was born in Sydney, went to school at the local state schools (North Sydney Demonstration School and Cremorne Girls’ High), then to an arts degree at Sydney Uni. I was lucky to grow up in a house with plenty of books and dinner-table discussion. Dad would have liked to be a professional writer and wrote as a hobby, publishing 3 books (a novel, a memoir and a book about the Vietnam War), and Mum had a powerful sense of the importance of passing on family stories (some of the ones she told me were the starting Continue reading

Howard Jacobson and The Finkler Question Win the Man Booker Prize for 2010

London author and columnist named winner

October 2010Howard Jacobson is tonight (Tuesday 12 October) named the winner of the £50,000 Man Booker Prize for Fiction for The Finkler Question, published by Bloomsbury.

London author and columnist Howard Jacobson has been longlisted twice for the prize, in 2006 for Kalooki Nights and in 2002 for Who’s Sorry Now, but has never before been shortlisted.

The Finkler Question is a novel about love, loss and male friendship, and explores what it means to be Jewish today.

Said to have ‘some of the wittiest, most poignant and sharply intelligent comic prose in the English language’, The Finkler Question has been described as ‘wonderful’ and ‘richly satisfying’ and as a novel of ‘full of wit, warmth, intelligence, human feeling and understanding’. Continue reading

DBC Pierre, Man Booker Prize winning author of Lights Out in Wonderland, answers Ten Terrifying Questions

The Ten Terrifying Questions have turned 50!

To celebrate this unexpected achievement (coach said I’d never ‘mount to nuffin) we’re delighted to present our 50th author…

the Man Booker Prize winning

DBC Pierre!


So here it goes… for the 50th time!

The Booktopia Book Guru Asks

DBC Pierre,

author of Lights Out in Wonderland, Ludmila’s Broken English and Vernon God Little,

Ten Terrifying Questions


1. To begin with why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself – where were you born? Raised? Schooled?

South Australia, Mexico City, and in life generally. I was about to feel that was too brief to put, but in fact it probably says Continue reading

Trespass by Rose Tremain

Trespass 9780701178017 Trespass opens with a young girl bullied away from a school picnic in a remote corner of the Cevennes in southern France. Longing for escape, she finds a woodland pool but her cooling swim turns to horror when she sees something unspeakable.

The sense of menace in Trespass is set from that opening scene. And it is not just the menace wrought by human hands. There is a palpable feeling throughout that the earth itself is alive, seeking, indeed reclaiming ,what was taken by those who trespassed.

Trespass tells the intersecting stories of two sets of brother and sister. Anthony Verey is an aging gay antique dealer from London who seeks respite with his sister Veronica. Veronica is a gardening writer living in the Cevennes, with her own lover, the untalented painter Kitty. Meanwhile, Aramon Lunel, the obsessive and violent alcoholic who is living amongst the ruins of his once prosperous inherited farm, decides to make his fortune by selling the farmhouse to the increasingly reclusive Englishman. His sister Audrun, who has experienced a lifetime of cruelty and drudgery, has other ideas.

This is a story about space, place, territory and the iron grip of the past. The characters are stalked by the memory of soil in the same way as those in Andrew McGahan’s The White Earth and Alex Miller’s Landscape of Farewell. I couldn’t put this book down.

Rose Tremain won the Orange Prize for The Road Home. She is sure to garner a wider audience with Trespass and it is no surprise that she is a favourite for the Man Booker.


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