The Man Booker Shortlist for Fiction was announced on September 9th. The list trims the thirteen novels on the longlist down to the six selected to compete for the title of winner. Two American writers made the list, along with one Australian and three British writers. A.C. Grayling, chair of this year's judges, comments on the new eligibility rules: "As the Man Booker Prize expands its borders, these six exceptional books take the reader on journeys around the world, between the UK, New York, Thailand, Italy, Calcutta and times past, present and future." (Find out more at: http://www.themanbookerprize.com)
To Rise Again at a Decent Hour - Joshua Ferris
After noticing his identity has been stolen and used to create various social media accounts, Paul O'Rourke, a man with a troubled past, begins to wonder if his virtual alter ego is actually a better version of himself.
We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves - Karen Joy Fowler
Coming of age in middle America, eighteen-year-old Rosemary evaluates how her entire youth was defined by the presence and forced removal of an endearing chimpanzee who was secretly regarded as a family member and was loved by Rosemary as a sister.
The Narrow Road to the Deep North - Richard Flanagan
"A novel of love and war that traces the life of one man--an Australian surgeon--from a prisoner-of-war camp on the Thai-Burma Death Railway during World War II, up to the present"-- Provided by the publisher.
The Lives of Others - Neel Mukherjee
"An epic saga telling the story of a Bengali family in Calcutta -- exploring a family that is decaying as the society around it fractures, and one young man who tries to re-imagine his place in the world." (Random House UK)
J - Howard Jacobson
"J is set in a future world still trying to recover from a historical catastrophe that it only half acknowledges and does not officially remember (this outbreak of mass violence, presumably a second Holocaust, is shrouded in obfuscation and is always referred to as "what happened, if it happened"). But that world is only a step away from our own." (John Burnside in The Guardian)
How to Be Both - Ali Smith
"The book has two interconnected stories. There is a teenage girl called George whose mother has just died and who is left struggling to make sense of her death with her younger brother and her emotionally disconnected father. And then there is an Italian renaissance artist, Francesco del Cossa, a real-life figure responsible for a series of striking frescoes in the Palazzo Schifanoia in Ferrara, Italy. Depending on which copy you pick up at random, you will either be presented with George's story first or with Francesco's. The two narratives twist around each other like complicated vines." (Elizabeth Day in The Observer)
The last three entries will be available in U.S. editions over the next few months.The winner will be announced in London on October 14th.