October 6, 2009
The winner of the U.K.’s Man Booker Prize was announced today: Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel.
The winner will be announced November 18.
The NBA website says 193 publishers submitted 1,129 books for the 2009 awards and then breaks them down into the categories, as of August 13, 2009:
- 236 for fiction
- 481 for non-fiction
- 161 for poetry
- 251 for young people’s lit.
The National Book Award can be fun for the surprises that often make the list of nominees and the controversy that can unfold.
Last year questions flew about Peter Matthiessen’s Shadow Country. (It won for fiction.) In 2004, the nominees were virtually unknown and many booed and hissed. One critic called them “narrow-minded nominations.”
Also in the archives of NBA surprises is the 1987 winner Paco’s Story by Larry Heinemann over the favored Beloved by Toni Morrison. The literary community was stunned.
I studied with Heineman in graduate school while he was writing the winning novel. I wrote congratulations, and Larry responded in a long letter that described the awards dinner, including this:
“…I went not expecting anything at all, just a bit of recognition as a nominee, a very good dinner sitting next to my editor who I get to see very rarely, and a business meeting with my agent the next morning. But I’ll be damned if I didn’t win the thing, much to the consternatoin [sic] of the NY Times.”
September 8, 2009
Below are six novels that made the shortlist for the United Kingdom’s 2009 Man Booker Prize. They were selected out of a longlist of 13.
Right now, The Little Stranger is the only one currently published in the United States.
Three others have U.S. publication dates coming up (as noted). The remaining two currently are not scheduled for U.S. publication.
The winner will be announced October 6.
A. S. Byatt, one of the contenders, is scheduled to speak at Capital University on October 13 in Mees Hall at 7:30 p.m.* If she’s awarded this prize for fiction, then we’ll have the 2009 Man Booker winner in Columbus, Ohio.
A S Byatt: The Children’s Book
Scheduled for publication in the U.S. by Random House 10/6/09
J M Coetzee: Summertime
Scheduled for publication in the U.S. by Viking 12/24/09
Adam Foulds: The Quickening Maze
Hilary Mantel: Wolf Hall
Scheduled for publication in the U.S. by Henry Holt and Co. 10/13/09
Simon Mawer: The Glass Room
Sarah Waters: The Little Stranger
Already available in the U.S., published by Riverhead
*The 7:30 p.m. time added 9/9/09 as an update to this post.