2011 Man Booker Shortlist Announced

The 2011 Man Booker shortlist of six books was announced this morning in London by Stella Remington, Chair of Judges for the prize. The shortlist features two debut novels and strong representation from independent publishers. The winner of the £50,000 2011 Man Booker Prize for Fiction will be announced on Tuesday 18 October at a dinner at London’s Guildhall and will be broadcast on the BBC.

From the press release:

2011 Man Booker Prize for Fiction
Shortlist announced

Julian Barnes, Carol Birch, Patrick deWitt, Esi Edugyan, Stephen Kelman and A.D. Miller are today, Tuesday 6 September, announced as the six shortlisted authors for the 2011 Man Booker Prize for Fiction.

The Man Booker Prize has been described variously as ‘Posh bingo’ and ‘the indispensable literary thermometer’. Whatever your view, each year the prize promotes the finest in new fiction and rewards the year’s best novel, securing international renown for its shortlisted and longlisted authors and giving book lovers worldwide a choice reading list.

With such differing titles on this year’s shortlist, there is sure to be great debate over who will win the coveted prize on 18 October. The judges’ selection includes two first time novelists – Stephen Kelman and A.D. Miller – while four of the books are from independent publishers. Of the six writers, two have enjoyed success with the prize in the past. Julian Barnes has been shortlisted three times for Arthur and George (2005), England, England (1998) and Flaubert’s Parrot (1984), while Carol Birch was longlisted in 2003 for Turn Again Home. Two Canadian writers feature on the shortlist – Patrick deWitt and Esi Edugyan – along with four British novelists.

The shortlist was announced by Chair of Judges, author and former Director-General of MI5 Dame Stella Rimington, at a press conference held at Man’s London headquarters.

The six books, selected from the longlist of 13, are:

Author Title (publisher)
Julian Barnes The Sense of an Ending (Jonathan Cape – Random House)
Carol Birch Jamrach’s Menagerie (Canongate Books)
Patrick deWitt The Sisters Brothers (Granta)
Esi Edugyan Half Blood Blues (Serpent’s Tail)
Stephen Kelman Pigeon English (Bloomsbury)
A.D. Miller Snowdrops (Atlantic)
Chair of judges, Dame Stella Rimington, comments: “Inevitably it was hard to whittle down the longlist to six titles. We were sorry to lose some great books. But, when push came to shove, we quickly agreed that these six very different titles were the best.”

The winner of the 2011 Man Booker Prize for Fiction will be announced on Tuesday 18 October at a dinner at London’s Guildhall and will be broadcast on the BBC. The winner will receive £50,000 and each of the six shortlisted authors, including the winner, will receive £2,500 and a designer bound edition of their book. Last year’s winner, The Finkler Question by Howard Jacobson, has sold over 250,000 copies in the UK alone.

The judges for the 2011 Prize are writer and journalist, Matthew d’Ancona; author, Susan Hill; author and politician, Chris Mullin; and Head of Books at the Daily Telegraph, Gaby Wood. Dame Stella Rimington is the Chair.

In the lead up to the winner announcement there will be a number of exclusive Man Booker Prize events with the shortlisted authors. These include: a public event at the Apple Store, Covent Garden on 13 October; a special evening at the British Library to acknowledge the important role of libraries for readers and writers on 11 October, and a public event with the shortlisted authors in association with Waterstone’s on 17 October. Details will be announced on the Man Booker Prize website shortly.

For further information about the prize please visit www.themanbookerprize.com or follow the prize on Twitter @ManBookerPrize or on Facebook.

For all press enquiries please contact
Jill Cotton or Katy MacMillan-Scott at Colman Getty
Tel: 020 7631 2666 / Email: jill@colmangetty.co.uk / katy@colmangetty.co.uk

The Shortlist

The Sense of an Ending
By Julian Barnes
Published by Jonathan Cape (£12.99)

Tony Webster and his clique first met Adrian Finn at school. Sex-hungry and book-hungry, they would navigate the girl-less sixth form together, trading in affectations, in-jokes, rumour and wit. Maybe Adrian was a little more serious than the others, certainly more intelligent, but they all swore to stay friends for life. Now Tony is in middle age. He’s had a career and a single marriage, a calm divorce. He’s certainly never tried to hurt anybody. Memory, though, is imperfect. It can always throw up surprises, as a lawyer’s letter is about to prove.

Julian Barnes is the author of ten previous novels, three books of short stories and also three collections of journalism. Now 65, his work has been translated into more than thirty languages. In France he is the only writer to have won both the Prix Médicis (for Flaubert’s Parrot) and the Prix Femina (for Talking it Over). He was awarded the Austrian State Prize for European Literature in 2004 and the David Cohen Prize for Literature in 2011 for his lifetime achievement in literature. Julian Barnes has been shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize three times, for Arthur and George (2005), England, England (1998) and Flaubert’s Parrot (1984). He lives in London.

For further information please contact Chloë Johnson-Hill at Random House
Tel: 020 7840 8490, email: cjohnson-hill@randomhouse.co.uk, mob: 07919 324 890

The Sisters Brothers
By Patrick deWitt
Published by Granta (£12.99)

Oregon, 1851. Eli and Charlie Sisters, notorious professional killers, are on their way to California to kill a man named Hermann Kermit Warm. On the way, the brothers have a series of unsettling and violent experiences in the Darwinian landscape of Gold Rush America. Charlie makes money and kills anyone who stands in his way; Eli doubts his vocation and falls in love. And they bicker a lot. Then they get to California, and discover that Warm is an inventor who has come up with a magical formula, which could make all of them very rich. What happens next is utterly gripping, strange and sad.

Patrick deWitt was born on 6 March 1975 in British Columbia, Canada, and has also lived in California, Washington, and Oregon, where he now resides with his wife and child. His first novel, Ablutions, was published in 2009 and was a New York Times Editors’ Choice. He wrote the screenplay for Terri, a feature film directed by Azazel Jacobs and starring John C. Reilly, which received its world premiere at the Sundance film festival earlier this year.

For further information please contact Aidan O’Neill at Granta
Tel: 0207 605 6594, email: aidan@granta.com, mob: 07961 844 669

Jamrach’s Menagerie
By Carol Birch
Published by Canongate Books (£7.99)

“I was born twice. First in wooden room that jutted out over the black water of the Thames, and then again eight years later in the Highway, when the tiger took me in his mouth and everything truly began.” Jaffy Brown is a young boy when he is knocked unconscious by a Bengal tiger in the East End of London. He is saved by the tiger’s owner, Charles Jamrach, importer and purveyor of wild and extraordinary animals. Jaf begins working at the Menagerie, and is soon given the opportunity to take part in voyage of a lifetime: a trip to hunt down and bring back a dragon.

Carol Birch is the author of nine previous novels including Scapegallows and Turn Again Home, which was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2003. Now 60, she has won the Geoffrey Faber Award and the David Higham Award for Best First Novel. She lives in Lancashire.

For further information please contact Angela Robertson at Canongate
Tel: 0131 557 5111, email: angela.robertson@canongate.co.uk, mob: 07590831745

Half Blood Blues
By Esi Edugyan
Published by Serpent’s Tail (£10.99)

The aftermath of the fall of Paris, 1940. Hieronymous Falk, a rising star on the cabaret scene, was arrested in a cafe and never heard from again. He was twenty years old. He was a German citizen. And he was black. Fifty years later, Sid, Hiero’s bandmate and the only witness that day, is going back to Berlin. Persuaded by his old friend Chip, Sid discovers there’s more to the journey than he thought when Chip shares a mysterious letter, bringing to the surface secrets buried since Hiero’s fate was settled.

Esi Edugyan has degrees from the University of Victoria and Johns Hopkins University. Her work has appeared in several anthologies, including Best New American Voices 2003. Her debut novel, written when she was 25, The Second Life of Samuel Tyne, was published internationally. She is now 33 and lives in Victoria, British Columbia, where she has recently had her first baby.

For further information please contact Anna-Marie Fitzgerald at Profile Books
Tel: 020 7841 6304, email: anna-marie.fitzgerald@profilebooks.com, mob: 07980868018

Pigeon English
By Stephen Kelman
Published by Bloomsbury (£12.99)

Newly arrived from Ghana with his mother and older sister, eleven-year-old Harrison Opoku lives on the ninth floor of a block of flats on an inner-city housing estate. The second best runner in the whole of Year 7, Harri races through his new life in his personalised trainers – the Adidas stripes drawn on with marker pen – blissfully unaware of the very real threat all around him. With equal fascination for the local gang – the Dell Farm Crew – and the pigeon who visits his balcony, Harri absorbs the many strange elements of his new life in England: watching, listening, and learning the tricks of inner-city survival. But when a boy is knifed to death on the high street and a police appeal for witnesses draws only silence, Harri decides to start a murder investigation of his own. In doing so, he unwittingly endangers the fragile web his mother has spun around her family to try and keep them safe.

Stephen Kelman was born in Luton on 13 April 1976. After finishing his degree he worked variously as a warehouse operative, a careworker, and in marketing and local government administration. He decided to pursue his writing seriously in 2005, and has completed several feature screenplays since then. Pigeon English is his first novel: it was shortlisted for the 2011 Desmond Elliott Prize and has been longlisted for the Guardian First Book award.

For further information please contact Anya Rosenberg at Bloomsbury
Tel: 020 7494 6008, email: anya.rosenberg@bloomsbury.com, mob: 07540 838369

By A.D. Miller
Published by Atlantic (£12.99)

A.D. Miller’s Snowdrops is a riveting psychological drama that unfolds over the course of one Moscow winter, as a young Englishman’s moral compass is spun by the seductive opportunities revealed to him by a new Russia: a land of hedonism and desperation, corruption and kindness, magical dachas and debauched nightclubs; a place where secrets – and corpses – come to light only when the deep snows start to thaw…

Born in London on 9 December 1974, A.D. Miller studied literature at Cambridge and Princeton. He worked as a television producer before joining The Economist. From 2004 to 2007 he was the magazine’s Moscow correspondent, travelling widely across Russia and the former Soviet Union. He is the author of the acclaimed family history The Earl of Petticoat Lane (Wm. Heinemann, 2006); Snowdrops is his first novel. Rights have been sold in 22 countries and it will be translated into 19 languages. He lives in London with his wife and daughter.

For further information please contact Karen Duffy at Atlantic Books
Tel: 0207 269 1621, email: karenduffy@atlantic-books.co.uk, mob: 07834 561 064
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