Last week, the Man Booker Prize was announced. More commonly known as the Booker Prize, this award is given each year to the best novel written in the English language and published in the UK. This was the second year that the prestigious award went to an American author (originally, the award was given to British, Irish and South African citizens, but in 2014 it grew to include any English-language novel).
There is a Short List and a Long List for the award (check out both here). Here is my Short List from the Long List nominees.
The Winner: “Lincoln in the Bardo” by George Saunders
Of course I have to read the award winner! Saunders’ book follows Abraham Lincoln into a cemetery on the day his son, Willie, was laid to rest in 1862. Taking place in once single night, “Lincoln in the Bardo” is said to ultimately explore lessons about death, grief, and the power of good and evil through multiple voices, dead and alive.
Read more about “Lincoln in the Bardo” and George Saunders in this article from The Guardian.
“The Underground Railroad” by Colson Whitehead
As one can probably garner from the title, “The Underground Railroad” is a novel about a girl, Cora, and her attempt to escape life as a slave through the Underground Railroad. More than just a tale of escape, Whitehead’s novel claims to weave together the history of African Americans from the treachery of the pre-Civil War era to the promises of the present day.
“4 3 2 1” by Paul Auster
I’m a sucker for a classic book with a phenomenal twist, and that’s what “4 3 2 1” looks like to me. Beginning with the birth of a child, Archibald Isaac Ferguson, in 1947, Auster’s book follows four separate Ferguson plotlines. Each Ferguson is genetically the same, but each lead vastly different lives. Said to be a tale about the pleasures and pains of life, “4 3 2 1” is probably the book I am most excited to pick up.
“History of Wolves” by Emily Fridlund
Madeline lives with her parents in an abandoned commune in the woods of Minnesota. She feels like an outsider at school, and when a beloved teacher is charged with possession of childhood pornography, she feels more lost than ever — until a new family moves into a house across the lake. A story of figuring out where you belong and understanding the limitless boundaries of what someone will do for the one they love, “History of Wolves” is a must read for me.
“The Ministry of Utmost Happiness” by Arundhati Roy
Ultimately a store about love and hope, “The Ministry of Utmost Happiness” weaves together a handful of people’s tales to make one intricate story that takes the reader through the neighborhoods of Old Dehli and into the mountains of Kashmir. It isn’t the story of one hopeful soul, but a thousand that make Roy’s novel one for the books.
Each book that made it onto the long list for the Man Booker Prize is going to be phenomenal, but these happened to stand out to me.
Let me know which books you are excited to pick up from the nominees in the comments below!