Man Booker Prize 2016 longlist: Five UK authors to compete against double winner JM Coetzee

Four debut novels have also made the list with the winner announced on 25 October

Jess Denham
Thursday 28 July 2016 08:59

Five UK authors have made the Man Booker Prize longlist of 13 novels, with former double winner JM Coetzee making a re-appearance. Six books are by women and seven by men.

Deborah Levy, shortlisted in 2012 for Swimming Home, is longlisted for her “richly mythic” tale of mothers and daughters Hot Milk, along with AL Kennedy, who judged the prize in 1996, with her uniquely moving love story Serious Sweet about two decent yet troubled people “trying to make moral choices in an immoral world”.

Four debut novels are longlisted: Hystopia by David Means; The Many by Wyl Menmuir; Eileen by Ottessa Moshfegh and Work Like Any Other by Virginia Reeves, while Coetzee is a contender with his new allegory The Schooldays of Jesus. The South African novelist won the then Booker Prize in 1983 with Life & Times of Michael K and again with Disgrace in 1999, making him the first writer to win twice.

First awarded in 1969, the Man Booker Prize is open to writers of any nationality, so long as their book was written in English and published in the UK. This year’s longlist was chosen by a panel of five judges from 155 submissions published between 1 October 2015 and 30 September 2016.

Amanda Foreman, the chair of the judges, said: “This is a very exciting year. The range of books is broad and the quality is extremely high. Each novel provoked intense discussion and, at times, passionate debate, challenging our expectations of what a novel is and can be.

“From the historical to the contemporary, the satirical to the polemical, the novels in this list come from both established writers and new voices. The writing is uniformly fresh, energetic and important. It is a longlist to be relished.”

The shortlist of six books will be announced on Tuesday 13 September, with each author on the list receiving £2,500 and a specially bound edition of their book. The winner, revealed at a black-tie dinner at London’s Guildhall and broadcast by the BBC on Tuesday 25 October, takes home £50,000.

Jamaican author Marlon James won last year’s grand prize with his third novel A Brief History of Seven Killings, which explores the attempted assassination of reggae singer Bob Marley in 1976 and its aftermath through the New York City crack wars of the Eighties. To date, more than 315,000 copies have been sold in the UK and Commonwealth. HBO is planning a TV adaptation of the story, while James has spent the past year travelling around the world to speak at a wide range of literary festivals.

Other past Man Booker Prize winners include Ian McEwan, Hilary Mantel, Iris Murdoch and Salman Rushdie.

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