Just as the weather cools and the nights start to draw in, the shortlist for this year’s Man Booker Prize has been announced – and what a brilliant and diverse list it is! We’ve got copies of all the books in Westminster Libraries – make your reservations now and see how many you can get through by the time the winner is announced on 15 October. Which ones will stand the test of time?
NoViolet Bulawayo – We Need New Names
‘Darling and her friends live in a shanty called Paradise, which of course is no such thing. It isn’t all bad, though. There’s mischief and adventure, games of Find bin Laden, stealing guavas, singing Lady Gaga at the tops of their voices. They dream of the paradises of America, Dubai, Europe, where Madonna and Barack Obama and David Beckham live.’
Eleanor Catton – The Luminaries
‘It is 1866, and Walter Moody has come to make his fortune upon the New Zealand goldfields. On the night of his arrival, he stumbles across a tense gathering of twelve local men, who have met in secret to discuss a series of unsolved crimes…
Moody is soon drawn into the mystery: a network of fates and fortunes that is as complex and exquisitely patterned as the night sky.’
Jim Crace – Harvest
‘As late summer steals in and the final pearls of barley are gleaned, a village comes under threat…
Over the course of seven days, Walter Thirsk sees his hamlet unmade: the harvest blackened by smoke and fear, the new arrivals cruelly punished, and his neighbours held captive on suspicion of witchcraft.
But something even darker is at the heart of his story, and he will be the only man left to tell it.’
Jhumpa Lahiri – The Lowland
‘From Subhash’s earliest memories, at every point, his brother was there… So close in age, they were inseparable in childhood and yet, as the years pass; as U.S tanks roll into Vietnam and riots sweep across India; their brotherly bond can do nothing to forestall the tragedy that will upend their lives. For all of them, the repercussions of his actions will reverberate across continents and seep through the generations that follow.’
Ruth Ozeki – A Tale for the Time Being
‘Ruth discovers a Hello Kitty lunchbox washed up on the shore of her beach home. Within it lies a diary that expresses the hopes and dreams of a young girl. She suspects it might have arrived on a drift of debris from the 2011 tsunami. With every turn of the page, she is sucked deeper into an enchanting mystery. A Tale for the Time Being is an extraordinary novel about our shared humanity and the search for home.’
Colm Toibin – The Testament of Mary
‘For Mary, her son has been lost to the world, and now, living in exile and in fear, she tries to piece together the memories of the events that led to her son’s brutal death. To her he was a vulnerable figure, surrounded by men who could not be trusted, living in a time of turmoil and change. As her life and her suffering begin to acquire the resonance of myth, Mary struggles to break the silence surrounding what she knows to have happened.’
Let us know what you think, by commenting here or posting a review on the library catalogue.