Man Booker Prize 2018 – Longlist Announced

by |July 24, 2018

The Man Booker longlist has been announced for 2018.

This year we have a refreshingly unexpected selection of titles which includes both a graphic novel and a crime novel!

Michael Ondaatje’s Warlight has been nominated, which puts him in a unique position to win both the Golden Man Booker and the Man Booker in the same year.

Washington Black is the dazzling new novel from Esi Edugyan, who was previously nominated for the Man Booker in 2011 for Half Blood Blues.

Sally Rooney has been nominated for Normal People. The young Irish author had one of the most popular debuts of 2017 with Conversations with Friends and the staff at Booktopia have all been falling in love with her wonderful second novel.

Scroll down to see all thirteen of the remarkable novels that have been shortlisted for The Man Booker Prize this year and join us in guessing who will make the shortlist – which will be announced on the 20th of September.

The Man Booker Prize Winner will be announced later in the year on the 16th of October.


Man Booker Longlist

Warlight
by Michael Ondaatje

A mesmerising new novel from the internationally acclaimed, bestselling author of The English Patient.

In a narrative as mysterious as memory itself – at once both shadowed and luminous – Warlight is a vivid, thrilling novel of violence and love, intrigue and desire. It is 1945, and London is still reeling from the Blitz and years of war. 14-year-old Nathaniel and his sister, Rachel, are apparently abandoned by their parents, left in the care of an enigmatic figure named The Moth.

They suspect he might be a criminal, and grow both more convinced and less concerned as they get to know his eccentric crew of friends: men and women with a shared history, all of whom seem determined now to protect, and educate (in rather unusual ways) Rachel and Nathaniel. But are they really what and who they claim to be? A dozen years later, Nathaniel begins to uncover all he didn’t know or understand in that time, and it is this journey – through reality, recollection, and imagination – that is told in this magnificent novel.




Man Booker Longlist

 

Washington Black
by Esi Edugyan

A dazzling new novel of slavery and freedom by the author of the Man Booker and Orange Prize shortlisted Half Blood Blues.

When two English brothers take the helm of a Barbados sugar plantation, nervousness and fear run high. Washington Black – an eleven year-old field slave who has known no other life – is aghast to find himself selected as personal servant to one of these men. His new master is the eccentric Christopher Wilde – naturalist, explorer, scientist, inventor and abolitionist – whose single-minded pursuit of the perfect aerial machine mystifies all around him. Through Wilde, Washington is initiated into a world of wonder: a world where the night sea viewed from a hilltop shivers with light; where a simple cloth canopy can propel a man across the sky; where even a boy born in chains may embrace a life of dignity and meaning.

Then, on a disastrous voyage of escape, Wilde disappears. Washington is forced to make his way back to the civilized world alone. One day, however, a man appears in the doorway of his new life, making claims of the past. Is this truly the long-lost Wilde? If so, what are the real motives for his return? And is it possible that his resurrection will destroy everything?

Based on an infamous 19th century criminal case, Washington Black tells the story of a world destroyed and made whole again, where certainty seems unattainable, and men must remain strangers even to themselves.



 Man Booker Longlist
Snap
by Belinda Bauer

On a stifling summer’s day, eleven-year-old Jack and his two sisters sit in their broken-down car, waiting for their mother to come back and rescue them. Jack’s in charge, she said. I won’t be long.

But she doesn’t come back. She never comes back. And life as the children know it is changed for ever.

Three years later, mum-to-be Catherine wakes to find a knife beside her bed, and a note that says: I could have killed you.

Meanwhile Jack is still in charge – of his sisters, of supporting them all, of making sure nobody knows they’re alone in the house, and – quite suddenly – of finding out the truth about what happened to his mother. But the truth can be a dangerous thing . . .




Man Booker Longlist
Normal People
by Sally Rooney

The feverishly anticipated second novel from the young author of 2017’s most acclaimed debut Conversations with Friends.

Connell and Marianne grow up in the same small town in rural Ireland. The similarities end there; they are from very different worlds. When they both earn places at Trinity College in Dublin, a connection that has grown between them lasts long into the following years.

This is an exquisite love story about how a person can change another person’s life – a simple yet profound realisation that unfolds beautifully over the course of the novel. It tells us how difficult it is to talk about how we feel and it tells us – blazingly – about cycles of domination, legitimacy and privilege. Alternating menace with overwhelming tenderness, Sally Rooney’s second novel breathes fiction with new life.




Man Booker Longlist
Everything Under
by Daisy Johnson

Words are important to Gretel, always have been. As a child, she lived on a canal boat with her mother, and together they invented a language that was just their own. She hasn’t seen her mother since the age of sixteen, though – almost a lifetime ago – and those memories have faded. Now Gretel works as a lexicographer, updating dictionary entries, which suits her solitary nature.

A phone call from the hospital interrupts Gretel’s isolation and throws up questions from long ago. She begins to remember the private vocabulary of her childhood. She remembers other things, too- the wild years spent on the river; the strange, lonely boy who came to stay on the boat one winter; and the creature in the water – a canal thief? – swimming upstream, getting ever closer. In the end there will be nothing for Gretel to do but go back.

Daisy Johnson’s debut novel turns classical myth on its head and takes readers to a modern-day England unfamiliar to most. As daring as it is moving, Everything Under is a story of family and identity, of fate, language, love and belonging that leaves you unsettled and unstrung.




Man Booker Longlist
From a Low and Quiet Sea
by Donal Ryan

Farouk’s country has been torn apart by war.

Lampy’s heart has been laid waste by Chloe.

John’s past torments him as he nears his end.

The refugee. The dreamer. The penitent. From war-torn Syria to small-town Ireland, three men, scarred by all they have loved and lost, are searching for some version of home. Each is drawn towards a powerful reckoning, one that will bring them together in the most unexpected of ways.




Man Booker Longlist
In Our Mad And Furious City

by Guy Gunaratne

Guy Gunaratne’s blistering debut In Our Mad And Furious City is an unforgettable portrait of 48 hours on a London council estate, and will appeal to readers of The Bricks That Built The Houses or This Is England.

For Selvon, Ardan and Yusuf, growing up under the towers of Stones Estate, summer means what it does anywhere: football, music, freedom. But now, after the killing of a British soldier, riots are spreading across the city, and nowhere is safe.

While the fury swirls around them, Selvon and Ardan remain focused on their own obsessions, girls and grime. Their friend Yusuf is caught up in a different tide, a wave of radicalism surging through his local mosque, threatening to carry his troubled brother, Irfan, with it.

Provocative, raw, poetic yet tender, In Our Mad And Furious City announces the arrival of a major new talent in fiction.




Man Booker Longlist
Milkman

by Anna Burns

This beautiful and painful novel by Orange Prize shortlisted Anna Burns blends shades of early Edna O’Brien with Eimear McBride’s exquisite ability to capture voice.

Set in an un-named city but with an astonishing, breath-shorteningly palpable sense of time and place Milkman is a tale of gossip and hearsay, silence and deliberate deafness. The story of inaction with enormous consequences and decisions that are never made, but for which people are judged and punished.

Middle sister is our protagonist. She is busy attempting to keep her mother from discovering her nearly-boyfriend and to keep everyone in the dark about her encounter with milkman (which she herself for the life of her cannot work out how it came about). But when first brother-in-law, who of course had sniffed it out, told his wife, her first sister, to tell her mother to come and have a talk with her, middle sister becomes ‘interesting’. The last thing she ever wanted to be. To be interesting is to be noticed and to be noticed is dangerous.

Milkman is a searingly honest novel told in prose that is as precise and unsentimental as it is devastating and brutal. A novel that is at once unlocated and profoundly tethered to place is surely a novel for our times.




Man Booker Longlist
The Mars Room

by Rachel Kushner

This beautiful and painful novel by Orange Prize shortlisted Anna Burns blends shades of early Edna O’Brien with Eimear McBride’s exquisite ability to capture voice.

Romy Hall is at the start of two consecutive life sentences, plus six years, at Stanville Women’s Correctional Facility. Outside is the world from which she has been permanently severed: the San Francisco of her youth, changed almost beyond recognition. The Mars Room strip club where she once gave lap dances for a living. And her seven-year-old son, Jackson, now in the care of Romy’s estranged mother.

Inside is a new reality to adapt to: thousands of women hustling for the bare essentials needed to survive. The relentlessly deadpan absurdities of institutional living, which Kushner details with humour and precision. Daily acts of violence by guards and prisoners alike. Allegiances formed over liquor brewed in socks, and stories shared through sewage pipes.

Romy sees the future stretch out ahead of her in a long, unwavering line – until news from outside brings a ferocious urgency to her existence, challenging her to escape her own destiny and culminating in a climax of almost unbearable intensity. Through Romy – and through a cast of astonishing characters populating Mars Room – Rachel Kushner presents not just a bold and unsentimental panorama of life on the margins of contemporary America, but an excoriating attack on the prison-industrial complex.




Man Booker Longlist
The Overstory

Richard Powers

Nine strangers, each in different ways, become summoned by trees, brought together in a last stand to save the continent’s few remaining acres of virgin forest.

The Overstory unfolds in concentric rings of interlocking fable, ranging from antebellum New York to the late-twentieth-century Timber Wars of the Pacific Northwest and beyond, revealing a world alongside our own – vast, slow, resourceful, magnificently inventive, and almost invisible to us. This is the story of a handful of people who learn how to see that world, and who are drawn up into its unfolding catastrophe.





Sabrina

by Nick Drnaso

A landmark graphic novel about a missing woman, a viral video and the horrors of fake news.

Where is Sabrina?

The answer is hidden on a videotape, a tape which is en route to several news outlets, and about to go viral.

A landmark graphic novel, already hailed as one of the most exciting and moving stories of recent years, Sabrina is a tale of modern mystery, anxiety, fringe paranoia and mainstream misinformation – a book that tells the story of those left behind in the wake of tragedy, has important things to say about how we live now, and possess the rare power to leave readers pulverised.



 


Man Booker Longlist

The Long Take
by Robin Roberston

Walker, a young Canadian recently demobilised after war and his active service in the Normandy landings and subsequent European operations. Suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, and unable to face a return to his family home in rural Nova Scotia, he goes in search of freedom, change, anonymity and repair. We follow Walker through a sequence of poems as he moves through post-war American cities of New York, Los Angles and San Francisco.



 


The Water Cure
by Sophie Mackintosh

Dreamlike and compulsive, a blazing literary debut about love, violence and survival at any cost.

Once upon a time, damaged women came here to be cured. We took them in, fed them glasses of our clean, good water, let them scream at the waves till their lips split like ripe fruit. Now no one is left but my sisters and me. King died a year ago, quite suddenly. Mother has vanished, no one knows where. And the safe compound they built around us, far away from the toxic world, has finally been breached.

Three men arrived last week, washed up by the sea, their gazes hungry and insistent. We remember now what our father taught us. ‘If the men come to you, show yourself some mercy. Don’t stick around and wait for them to put you out of your misery.’

 

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About the Contributor

Sarah studied Journalism and worked as a freelance copy writer before joining Booktopia, where she now enjoys unleashing the full capacity of her book obsession as Booktopia's Senior Content Producer. Sarah enjoys sword-fighting, time-travel, rare jewel collecting and competitive yodeling. She also leads a very rich fantasy life. An avid reader and book reviewer, Sarah is filled with a burning passion and boundless enthusiasm for the written word! She also has a slight tendency to overuse exclamation points!!!!!

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