Tag: Booker Prize

1,020 Page Book Composed of Eight Sentences

The longlist for the 2019 Booker prize was recently announced with literary heavyweights like Margaret Atwood, Salman Rushdie, and Chigozie Obioma appearing on the list. The pool of well-accomplished authors didn’t come as a shock to anyone, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t a few noticeable surprises on the list. One of the most striking inclusions was Lucy Ellmann’s 1,020 page novel Ducks, Newburyport which is composed of only eight sentences.

Ducks, Newburyport

image via goodreads

Following in the footsteps of modernist writers like James Joyce and Virginia Woolf, Ellman expands upon the boundaries of what a novel can be in the 21st century. The story follows the monologue of an Ohio housewife as she worries about her children, her dead parents, the bedroom rituals of “happy couples,” Weapons of Mass Destruction, school shootings, and all of the horrors of modern American life.

 

 

Ellmann takes stream of consciousness to the next level. The eight long sentences that comprise the novel come at the reader like a barrage with no paragraph breaks and little room for pause. The narrative is stitched together with commas and a reoccuring refrain: “the fact that.”

Shocked face

Image Via Meme Center

The novel may seem daunting, Ellmann’s captivating language and wry sense of humor drives the reader through the story. Personally, I can’t wait for the audiobook, which I hope is narrated by Mark Hamill.

Mark Hamill

Image Via MouseSteps

The winner of The Booker Prize will be announced in October. In the meantime, check out some of the other books on the longlist.

 

 

Featured Image Via The Times

A Booker Brace – Top 3 Booker Prize Picks

 

The Booker Prize has been a principal barometer of the British literary community since 1969, and since 2014, has considered all original fiction written in English. If you don’t have time to read all 13 books on the long list (a Booker dozen), and you don’t want to wait for the short list in September or the winner in October, here are our top picks.

 

 

 

1. My Sister, The Serial KillerOyinkan Braithwaite

 

Cover - My Sister, The Serial Killer

Image via Amazon

 

This is a gallows humor slasher about the things you do for the ones you love. Morally unencumbered, capturing the complexities of sibling life, this is a page turner you won’t want to put down. It’s already won several awards, including the LA Times Award for Best Crime Thriller and the Field Notes Morning News Tournament of Books, as well as being shortlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction, and optioned for a movie.

This is Braithewaite’s debut, but already shows a distinct, explosive voice, and has been perhaps one of the most publicized of the long list novels. Anyone with a taste for killers, or good female villains in general, should pick this up, but you don’t have to be a slasher fan to enjoy this novel.

 

 

2. QuichotteSalman Rushdie

 

Cover - Quichotte

Image via Amazon

 

Quichotte won’t be released until September, but the modern retelling of Don Quixote promises Rushdie’s signature blend of reality and magical realism, with both a commitment to the source material and the devastating strangeness of the present age.

Salman Rushdie has long been a towering figure in literature. Both literary and surrealist, Rushdie has won a battery of awards for his 13 previous books, including the Eggerton prize, and promotion to Commandeur in the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, Frances greatest literary honor. Rushdie has won the booker three times, including the 25th and 40th anniversary prizes.

It may not be out yet, but it can be prehumously recommended on anticipation.

 

 

3. An Orchestra of MinoritiesChigozie Obioma 

 

Cover - An Orchestra of Minorities

Image via Amazon

 

This pick is both more tragic and more fantastical, narrated by the guardian spirit of a lovelorn chicken farmer. In love with a wealthy woman, and cheated out of everything he’s ever had, this book explores suicide, loss, and abandonment all through the lens of a narrator who is both hundreds of years old and removed from humanity. The prose is rich and ethereal, and explores what victimhood does to a person, and how far it’s possible to fall – all while traveling the world and more astral spaces.

This is Obioma’s second novel, and his first was short listed for the Booker Prize, so it’s a good bet this year.

 

 

Featured image via The Irish Times

 

 

Margaret Atwood Lands Booker Prize Longlist

Margaret Atwood received a nomination for the 2019 Booker Prize for 'Handmaid's Tale' sequel 'The Testaments,' out September 10.

Read more

Sally Rooney’s ‘Normal People’ Wins Book of the Year at British Book Awards

On Monday evening Sally Rooney, the much-lauded twenty-eight-year-old Irish writer, won the Book of the Year at the British Book Awards, also known as the Nibbies, for her second novel Normal People.

Normal People follows the relationship between two teenagers, Connell and Marianne, who attend the same secondary school. Connell is handsome and popular while Marianne is a regular loner, but both see beauty in the other. The novel twists and turns as the pair go off to Trinity College during which time Marianne becomes popular while this time it is Connell who struggles to fit in.

 

Sally Rooney and the cover of "Normal People"

Image Via The Independent

 

The novel achieves “that rare thing, a sublime work of literary fiction that exquisitely renders a universal experience: being young, finding love, friendship and, ultimately, a sense of self,” said Brett Wolstencroft, manager of Daunt books and judge according to The Guardian.

 

Sally Rooney

Image Via The Irish Times

This award is the novel’s third prize. Previously, Normal People was voted as the 2018 Waterstones’ Book of the Year  and won ‘Best Novel” at the 2018 Costa Book Awards.

The novel was also long-listed for the Women’s Prize for fiction, however the competition was stiffer this time around, given that Michelle Obama’s Becoming was also nominated!

 

Michelle Obama's "Becoming"

Image Via Goodreads

Becoming, published in November 12th, 2018, broke record sales in a stellar fifteen days and was an Oprah’s Book Club 2.0 selection.

There seemed to be no stopping Becoming. It beat out Michael Wolff’s White House expose Fire and Fury in the non-fiction sections and its audiobook, read by Obama herself and on track to be “already the best-selling audiobook of all time” according to the BBC, beat out Ben Whishaw’s telling of Stephen Hawking’s final book, Brief Answers to the Big Questions.

However, in the end, the Book of the Year prize went to Rooney. Alice O’Keeffe, books editor of The Bookseller and chair of this years judges, commented that the book “was unanimously praised by our Book of the Year judges. It really is an exceptional novel from one of the most exciting young writers we have.”

The other three judges joined O’Keeffe in her praises.

Judge Stig Abell, editor of the TLS said, “Sally Rooney may well be on her way to becoming the major literary figure of our time…”

Brett Woolstencroft, manager at Daunt Books, said the book was “a phenomenon”.

According to Bea Carvalho, fiction buyer at Waterstones, who judged the Fiction Book of the Year award also won by Rooney,  Normal People “is that rare gift of a novel which can be enjoyed by readers of all tastes”.

 

Sally Rooney

Image Via The Independent

 

Sally Rooney stayed humble, despite her enormous success, saying, “…I do feel astonishingly lucky.”

 

Featured Image Via Mountains to Sea