Inside The 2015 Man Booker Prize Shortlist

Megan Jensen ’18 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer

Copy Edited By: Nicholas DeBlasio ‘16

Every year, in mid-September, book lovers around the globe huddle around the internet to hear which books have been chosen for the Man Booker shortlist. The Man Booker Prize for Fiction is a widely acclaimed prize dating back to 1968 when it was called the Booker-McConnell Prize. Since then, the award has grown and diversified. Now, the Man Booker Prize is awarded to the best literary work written in English, and published in the UK, within the last year.

Many people in the literary community predict who will continue in the running from the long list to the shortlist, and this year was no different. Surprisingly, though, this year the community was fairly content with the shortlist decisions. From booktubers to book-bloggers, the shortlist seemed to satisfy everyone’s predictions. Diversity probably plays a big role in this fact. This is only the third year that the Man Booker Prize has accepted books not written by UK authors, and it seems that the hype for these books has become much more enthralling since the change was made.

This year’s shortlist consists of two UK writers, two United States writers, one Jamaican writer, and one Nigerian writer. The books for this year’s shortlist are:

A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marion James, which is a compilation of murder stories, told by ghosts, killers, government agents, journalists, and more. From what it seems, there are far more than seven killings in this thrilling story.

A Brief History of Seven Killings Cover. Source: Riverhead Books

A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara, about the lives of four college friends after they move to New York. The main character, Jude, is faced with the most grappling story of childhood drama, and what it means to have real friends in a difficult life.

A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler is a novel about generations of a family and what defines them. The borderline dysfunctional family weaves its way into the lives of the other family members until we understand each of them individually, as well as together.

A Spool of Blue Thread Cover. Source: Knopf

Satin Island by Tom McCarthy is the “wild card” of the shortlist, it has been said. Without too heavy of a plot, the main character must deal with two tasks that are both incredibly difficult and incredibly complex.

The Fishermen by Chigozie Obioma is about a Nigerian town and brothers who fish in forbidden waters. Told as a fairytale-esque story, the novel has great appeal to many readers. With prophecy and history, this book seems to be a fan favorite of the year.

The Fisherman Cover. Source: Little, Brown and Co

The Year of the Runaways by Sunjeev Sahota recounts the tale of Indian runaways, past and present, in both India and England. All about chance and circumstance, this novel has been held in high acclaim since its publication.

This year’s Man Booker Prize winner will be announced on Tuesday, October 13th. With such a diverse group of novels and writers, it is sure to be an interesting outcome.


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