Aug 1, 2009

Three Irish Authors Make Booker Longlist

Three Irish authors–Colm Tóibín, Ed O'Loughlin, and William Trevor–have made this year’s prestigious Man Booker prize longlist, as announced in London a few days ago. The longlist gets chopped from thirteen to six novels in September, and then the winner of the Man Booker Prize for Fiction 2009 will be revealed on October 6. If, like me, you never seem to be on-the-ball enough to have watched all (or any) of the Oscar-nominated films before the Oscar-pools/Oscars happen, you might want to compensate by getting a headstart on the Booker Prize now (and then starting a Booker Pool at work to show up your show-off "you still haven't seen Milk?"coworkers).

1. I'm going to get started with Ed O’Loughlin's book, Not Untrue & Not Unkind, because he's a first-time novelist, and therefore watercooler-worthy even if he doesn't make the shortlist. His novel is not available in the US until April 2010, so I'm thinking to pay the £2.99 shipping charge to get it from

2. Second on my Booker-bone-up list is Colm Tóibín's Brooklyn. He is what's known as a "Booker bridesmaid," having been shortlisted twice for the prize (in 1999 for The Blackwater Lightship and in 2004 for The Master). I'm a fan of Tóibín, and I live in Brooklyn, so I need to get reading this and fast. Available now on Amazon.

3. William Trevor's Love and Summer will be my third excuse to plant my backside firmly on my beach towel between now and Labor Day. Trevor has also been shortlisted previously (in 1976 with his novel The Children of Dynmouth, in 1991 with Reading Turgenev, and in 2002 with The Story of Lucy Gault), and I'm slightly mortified to admit that I've never read any of his books. I have a gaping hole in my Irish library it seems, so I'll have to remedy that. I'm excited to discover a new-old Irish writer so I can't bear to wait until September 17th for the release of this book stateside; Hello? the frickin' shortlist is announced September 8th! It'll be released in the UK in August which is a little better. two UK purchases a trip home justify?

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