Lost Man Booker Prize

Back in 1970, just two years after the prize was first awarded, the Booker Prize (as it was then known) changed its eligibility criteria.  No longer was it to be awarded retrospectively, but would be judged on works in the year of the prize itself.  Well, actually, from September to September each year.

Anyway, 1970 marks a "lost year" in which a number of books were not eligibile for the prize - falling between the gaps as it were.  The Miles Franklin Award also changed its selection criteria in 1988 but handled that change by not awarding a prize in 1988.  As far as I am aware no novels dropped out of contention as a result.

The Booker Prize people, however, have decided to fix this problem by announcing "The Lost Man Booker Prize" to cater for those novels that were ineligible due to their publication dates.  Three judges have been appointed and a longlist of 22 novels has been announced.  From this longlist, the judges will select a shortlist of 6 novels (the list to be released in March), and the winner will then be determined via a readers' vote on the Man Booker Prize.  That winner will be announced in May of this year.

The longlist of novels for this one-off award is as follows:

Brian Aldiss, The Hand Reared Boy
H.E.Bates, A Little Of What You Fancy?
Nina Bawden, The Birds On The Trees
Melvyn Bragg, A Place In England
Christy Brown, Down All The Days
Len Deighton, Bomber
J.G.Farrell, Troubles
Elaine Feinstein, The Circle
Shirley Hazzard, The Bay Of Noon
Reginald Hill, A Clubbable Woman
Susan Hill, I'm The King Of The Castle
Francis King, A Domestic Animal
Margaret Laurence, The Fire Dwellers
David Lodge, Out Of The Shelter
Iris Murdoch, A Fairly Honourable Defeat
Shiva Naipaul, Fireflies
Patrick O'Brian, Master and Commander
Joe Orton, Head To Toe
Mary Renault, Fire From Heaven
Ruth Rendell, A Guilty Thing Surprised
Muriel Spark, The Driver's Seat
Patrick White, The Vivisector

The two Australians on the list are Hazzard and White.

The extra criterion for selection was that the books had to be still in print and generally available today.  I've read a grand total of four of them, which doesn't strike me as very good at all.

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on February 2, 2010 11:44 AM.

Australian Bookcovers #196 - The Bay of Contented Men by Robert Drewe was the previous entry in this blog.

2010 Age Short Story Competition is the next entry in this blog.

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