Two debut novelists
‘intensely readable ... page-turning stories'
For the first time, extracts available to download onto mobiles
Aravind Adiga, Sebastian Barry, Amitav Ghosh, Linda Grant, Philip Hensher and Steve Toltz are the six authors shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize for Fiction 2008, the English-speaking world's most important literary award. The shortlist was announced by the chair of judges, Michael Portillo, at a press conference at Man Group plc offices in London today (Tuesday 9th September 2008).
The six shortlisted books were chosen from a longlist of 13 and are:
Author Title Publisher
Aravind Adiga The White Tiger Atlantic
Sebastian Barry The Secret Scripture Faber and Faber
Amitav Ghosh Sea of Poppies John Murray
Linda Grant The Clothes on Their Backs Virago
Philip Hensher The Northern Clemency Fourth Estate
Steve Toltz A Fraction of the Whole Hamish Hamilton
Michael Portillo, Chair of Judges, comments:
"The judges commend the six titles to readers with great enthusiasm. These novels are intensely readable, each of them an extraordinary example of imagination and narrative. These fine page-turning stories nonetheless raise highly thought-provoking ideas and issues. These books are in every case both ambitious and approachable."
The 2008 shortlist includes two first time novelists, Aravind Adiga and Steve Toltz. The six authors represent a broad geographical spread with two Indian authors, two English authors, an Australian author and an Irish author. The youngest on the list, at 34 years old, is Aravind Adiga. Sebastian Barry was shortlisted in 2005 for his novel A Long, Long Way, Linda Grant was longlisted in 2002 for her novel Still Here and Philip Hensher, once a Booker judge himself, was also longlisted in 2002 for his novel The Mulberry Empire.
The winner receives £50,000 and can look forward to greatly increased sales and worldwide recognition. Each of the six shortlisted authors, including the winner, receives £2,500 and a designer bound edition of their own book.
The judging panel for the 2008 Man Booker Prize for Fiction is: Michael Portillo, former MP and Cabinet Minister; Alex Clark, editor of Granta; Louise Doughty, novelist; James Heneage, founder of Ottakar's bookshops and Hardeep Singh Kohli, TV and radio broadcaster.
The winner will be announced on Tuesday 14th October at a dinner at the Guildhall, London. The announcement will be broadcast live on BBC One's 10 O'Clock News.
This year, the Man Booker Prize has exclusively partnered with mobile site GoSpoken to make extracts from the shortlisted books available to download free onto your mobile phone. They can either be read as text or listened to as audio. The extracts will be available from the moment the shortlist is announced by texting MBP to 60300. This is the first time that any book prize has used mobile technology to promote its shortlist.
On Monday 13th October, the eve of the winner announcement, the Southbank Centre in London will host an evening of readings and discussion with the 2008 shortlisted authors.