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Man Booker longlist announced: First global list embraces America

Joshua Ferris, Karen Joy Fowler, Siri Hustvedt and Richard Powers make the Man Booker longlist
Man Booker Prize longlist announced
Will British writers object to the presence of Americans on the Man Booker longlist?

The first-ever global longlist for the Man Booker Prize was announced Wednesday, and includes four Americans. For 2014, books written in English and published in Britain were eligible, regardless of the author's nationality.

Americans on the list are Joshua Ferris, Karen Joy Fowler, Siri Hustvedt and Richard Powers. Joseph O'Neill, who lives in New York, was also longlisted but as an Irish American had already been eligible for the prize.

All told, the longlist has six Britons, four Americans, one Irish writer, one Irish American and one Australian.

Previously, only authors from Britain, the Commonwealth nations, Ireland and Zimbabwe were eligible. When the change was announced last year, some in the British literary world expressed concern that British writers might be shortchanged by the expansion, shouldered aside by the larger American publishing market.

The significant presence of American authors on the list may give them cause for continued concern.

The complete list is below.

Joshua Ferris (American), "To Rise Again at a Decent Hour"
Richard Flanagan (Australian), "The Narrow Road to the Deep North"
Karen Joy Fowler (American), "We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves"
Siri Hustvedt (American), "The Blazing World"
Howard Jacobson (British), "J"
Paul Kingsnorth (British), "The Wake"
David Mitchell (British), "The Bone Clocks"
Neel Mukherjee (British), "The Lives of Others"
David Nicholls (British), "Us"
Joseph O'Neill (Irish American), "The Dog"
Richard Powers (American), "Orfeo"
Ali Smith (British), "How to be Both"
Niall Williams (Irish), "History of the Rain"

As in previous years, some of the books have not yet been published in the U.S. Most interestingly from the publishing side, "The Wake" by Paul Kingsnorth was published by Unbound, a crowd-funded publisher.

Previous winners of the Man Booker Prize include Hilary Mantel, Salman Rushdie, Margaret Atwood, J.M. Coetzee, Harold Jacobson, Anne Enright, John Banville, Julian Barnes, Aravind Adiga, Yann Martel, Peter Carey and Ian McEwan. Last year Eleanor Catton won with her debut novel, "The Luminaries."

This year's winner will receive an award of about $85,000 at a ceremony Oct. 14 in London. Before then, the longlist will be whittled down to a shortlist, and British oddsmakers will take bets on the winner.

Like passing notes in class; I'm @paperhaus on Twitter

Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times
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