The longlist for the 2018 Man Booker prize was announced yesterday, and I’m so happy to say that three Irish authors are on it. Donal Ryan’s From a Low and Quiet Sea, Sally Rooney’s Normal People, and Anna Burns’ Milkman have all been chosen as candidates for the prestigious award.
This is the first year that books published in Ireland have been eligible for the prize following a change in the rules earlier in 2018. There were murmurs when Mike McCormack’s Solar Bones wasn’t nominated due to the fact that it was published by Tramp Press, an independent publishing house in Dublin (a bit of an outrage seeing as Solar Bones is amazing!).
But after discussion, a new rule was brought in allowing books published by a formally established imprint in Ireland to be considered. Much to our delight, as Ireland have a helluva lot of great independent publishers that deserve just as much attention as the big ones.
So that brings us here, to the 2018 longlist and three well-deserving Irish authors and books. Donal Ryan, who has previously been nominated for the Man Booker for his novel The Spinning Heart in 2013. From a Low and Quiet Sea is his fifth novel and follows three men as they search for what’s missing in their lives.
Normal People is Sally Rooney’s second novel and is about a connection between two people that lasts long and surpasses their different backgrounds. She has previously won the Young Writer of the Year Award in 2017 for her novel Conversations With Friends.
Anna Burns won the Winifred Holtby Memorial Prize in 2000 for her novel No Bones. Her third novel Milkman is a creepy tale of gossip and silence and the consequences that come with them.
Okay, I’m excited about the Irish authors, obviously. But there’s more news on this longlist. For the first time ever a graphic novel has been included. Nick Drnaso’s Sabrina follows the 24-hour news after a girl goes missing, and the chilling after-effects of her disappearance. It’s about damn time a prize as big as the Man Booker realised that graphic novels are just as worthy of praise as their picture-less counterparts.
I wish them all the best of luck with getting to the shortlist, and on to winning!
The full longlist for the Man Booker prize 2018 is as follows:
- Snap, by Belinda Bauer (UK)
- Milkman, by Anna Burns (UK)
- Sabrina, by Nick Drnaso (US)
- Washington Black, by Esi Edugyan (Canada)
- In our Mad and Furious City, by Guy Gunaratne (UK)
- Everything under, by Daisy Johnson (UK)
- The Mars Room, by Rachel Kushner (US)
- The Water Cure, by Sophie Mackintosh (UK)
- Warlight, by Michael Ondaatje (Canada)
- The Overstory , by Richard Powers (US)
- The Long Take, by Robin Robertson (UK)
- Normal People, by Sally Rooney (Ireland)
- From a Low and Quiet Sea, by Donal Ryan (Ireland)
The shortlist will be announced on 20th September and the winner on 16th October.