The Man Booker Prize shortlist was announced early this morning, winnowed down from a longlist of 13, and missing are Colum McCann's fine novel, "Transatlantic," as well as "The Spinning Heart," Donal Ryan's debut novel that caused so much buzz in Ireland. (The author had been rejected by 47 publishers.)
But the short list is stellar, and here it is:
"We Need New Names," by NoViolet Bulawayo. (Our review is here.)
"The Luminaries," by Eleanor Catton.
"The Harvest," by Jim Crace. (Our review is here.)
"The Lowland," by Jhumpa Lahiri. (Lahiri is coming to Minneapolis on Oct. 9. She'll be in conversation with writer Louise Erdrich, and you can buy tickets at www.birchbarkbooks.com. The price is $36, which includes an autographed copy of the book.) (Our review runs soon.)
"A Tale for the Time Being," by Ruth Ozeki.
"The Testament of Mary," by Colm Toibin. (Our review is here.)
The winner will be announced Oct. 15.
Meanwhile, the nominees for the National Book Award will be announced next week, doled out over four days on the website The Daily Beast for maximum drama. Children's and young adult book nominees will be announced on Monday at 9 a.m., poetry on Tuesday, nonfiction on Wednesday, and fiction on Thursday. Keep in mind that Minnesota writers won two of the four awards last year--Will Alexander won in young adult, and Louise Erdrich in fiction. This year one of the fiction judges is Minnesota writer (and University of Minnesota professor) Charles Baxter. Oh, so much reading to do.