Man Booker Prize shortlist 2014: Howard Jacobson and Ali Smith among British nominees

The Independent columnist Howard Jacobson could win for a second time

Daisy Wyatt
Wednesday 10 September 2014 09:11 BST
Howard Jacobson in 2012
Howard Jacobson in 2012 (Rex)

The Man Booker Prize shortlist has been announced, with favourite David Mitchell failing to make the final cut.

Howard Jacobson, a columnist for The Independent, Ali Smith and Neel Mukherjee lead the pack for British authors, while US authors Joshua Ferris, Karen Joy Fowler and Australia’s Richard Flanagan complete the list.

The shortlist only features two US authors despite fears that American behemoths would “take over” the Man Booker after the award was opened up to all novels written in the English language last year.

Howard Jacobson, who is nominated for his book J, could stand to win the prize for the second time after winning with The Finkler Question in 2010.

Ali Smith has been shortlisted for the third time with her experimental novel How to be Both. She was previously nominated for The Accidental (2005) and Hotel World (2001).

Neel Mukherjee appears on the shortlist for the first time with his 528 page saga The Lives of Others, set in Calcutta in the Sixties.

Joshua Ferris is nominated for his novel To Rise Again at a Decent Hour, which follows the life of New York dentist Paul O’Rourke as his identity is stolen online.

His fellow US nominee Karen Joy Fowler is shortlisted for her American family portrait We Are Completely Beside Ourselves.

Richard Flanagan completes the shortlist with his novel The Narrow Road to the Deep North, which centres on a surgeon working in a Japanese prisoner of war camp on the Burma Death Railway.

British writer David Mitchelll, who was named in the longlist, was widely tipped as a favourite to win the prize with his novel The Bone Clocks.

Man Booker Prize 2014 shortlist

Joshua Ferris (US) - To Rise Again at a Decent Hour (Viking)

Richard Flanagan (Australian) - The Narrow Road to the Deep North (Chatto & Windus)

Karen Joy Fowler (US) - We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves (Serpent's Tail)

Howard Jacobson (British) - J (Jonathan Cape)

Neel Mukherjee (British) - The Lives of Others (Chatto & Windus)

Ali Smith (British) - How to be Both (Hamish Hamilton)

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