The Man Booker Prize

Top 5 Man Booker Picks From the Last 5 Years

The longlist for the Man Booker Prize is here with some big names, including Zadie Smith, Arundhati Roy, and Paul Auster. We look back at some of our favorite nominees from the past five years.



“The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry” by Rachel Joyce


Book cover for The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry

Image Courtesy of Amazon


Joyce’s novel made the long-list this time five years ago, and is the charming tale of an elderly gentleman, Harold Fry, and the journey he somewhat unwittingly embarks on in order to visit a dying friend. The book won the National Book Award in the UK for New Writer of the Year.



“A Tale for the Time Being” by Ruth Ozeki 


Cover for A Tale for the Time Being

Image Courtesy of Amazon


Ozeki’s wide reaching tale spans across time and oceans to tell the tale of bullied 16 year old Nao in Tokyo, her grandmother who was a Buddhist nun, and the novelist named Ruth who discovers Nao’s writing washed up on the beach after the 2011 tsunami. This brilliantly colorful, inventive novel won the 2013 Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Fiction.



“The Lives of Others” by Neel Mukherjee


Cover for The Lives of Others

Image Courtesy of Neel Mukherjee


Set in India, this novel is an examination of the hierarchy, both literal and figurative, within the Ghosh family who all live on different floors of a house, according to their status. Bitter rivalries threaten the family structure, and the oldest grandchild’s involvement in extremist political activism further endangers the family structure. The novel won the 2014 Encore Award. 



“The Year of the Runaways” by Sanjeev Sahota


Cover for The Year of the Runaways

Image Courtesy of Amazon


Sahota, one of Granta’s Best of Young British Novelists, his second novel deals with immigrants coming from India to Britain, and spans many countries and characters. Taking place over the course of one year, the lives of the four principal characters become irrevocably entwined. The book won the European Prize for Literature in 2017.



“Do Not Say We Have Nothing” by Madeleine Thein


Cover for Do Not Say We Have Nothing

Image Courtesy of Goodreads


Winner of the 2016 Scotiabank Giller Prize, this novel follows two generations of a family: the parents who lived through Mao’s Cultural Revolution, and their children, the students who protested in Tiananmen Square. The story focuses on a young woman Marie, and her friend Ai-Ming. Through their friendship, Marie attempts to piece together the tale of her family in present-day Vancouver. 


Featured Image Courtesy of the Peabody Institute Library