Tag: Chigozie Obioma

Atwood and Rushdie Make Highly Anticipated Booker Prize Shortlist

Previous winners of the prestigious Booker Prize, Margaret Atwood and Salman Rushdie, join four other exciting authors on the Booker Prize shortlist this year.

 

Images via Amazon

Atwood won the prize in 2000 for The Blind Assassin, and she’s back in contention for her much-anticipated sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale. Her latest book, The Testaments, is set to release next week, and it’s already turning quite a few heads. Peter Florence, chair of this year’s judges and one of the few people to have read The Testaments, described the book as “a savage and beautiful novel that speaks to us today with conviction and power.” Speaking about the list more generally, Florence said, like all great literature, these books teem with life, with a profound and celebratory humanity.”

 

 

Another of those books teeming with life is Salman Rushdie’s Quichotte! Rushdie won the Booker Prize with Midnight Children in 1981, which was also deemed “Booker of Bookers” in 1993 and “Best of the Booker” in 2008. Rushdie’s latest work takes inspiration from Miguel de Cervantes’ Don Quixote, telling the story of an aging traveling salesman’s journey across America.

Florence has also sung the praises of Quichottesaying it “pushes the boundaries of fiction and satire.”

 

 

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Joining Atwood and Rushdie on the short list is Lucy Ellman’s Ducks, Newburyport. Ellman is the only U.S. author on this year’s list, and her mammoth 998-page novel is a stream-of-consciousness monologue largely consisting of one continuous sentence. If it wins, Ellman’s novel will be the longest novel to ever win the Booker Prize.

 

 

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Bernardine Evaristo’s Girl, Woman, Other also made this prestigious list. The Anglo-Nigerian author’s eighth novel follows the lives of 12 characters, most of whom are black, British women. Evaristo said her writing aims to “explore the hidden narratives of the African diaspora” and “subvert expectations and assumptions”.

 

 

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Chigozie Obioma, born in Nigeria in 1986, is the youngest author on the shortlist this year. Now based in the U.S., both of Obioma’s novels have been shortlisted for the Booker Prize. An Orchestra of Minorities tells the story of a young Nigerian chicken farmer whose love for a woman drives him to become an African migrant in Europe. Afua Hirsch, one of the competition’s judges, describe the tale as “a book that wrenches the heart.”

 

 

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Elif Shafak’s 17th book, 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World, consists of the recollections of a sex worker who has been left for dead in a rubbish bin. Liz Calder, another of the competition’s judges, called the book “a work of fearless imagination.” Shafak writes in both English and Turkish, and she’s the most widely read female author in Turkey.

 

 

What do you think of this stunning line-up? Have you read any of these masterful books? Let us know on Facebook and Instagram!

 

Featured image via The Daily Star

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

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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