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2010 Man Booker shortlist leaves contest wide open

7th September 2010

Australian novelist Peter Carey's Parrot and Olivier in America, Room by Irish writer Emma Donoghue and British author Howard Jacobson's The Finkler Question are among the six books shortlisted for the prestigious 2010 Man Booker Prize for Fiction.

In a Strange Room by South African playwright and novelist Damon Galgut, British author Andrea Levy's The Long Song and C by English writer Tom McCarthy are also in the running for the GBP 50,000 award.

Sir Andrew Motion, chair of the judges, commented: 'It's been a great privilege and an exciting challenge for us to reduce our longlist of 13 to this shortlist of six outstandingly good novels.'

He added that the shortlisted works deliver 'deep individual pleasures' and showcase a 'rich variety of styles and themes'.

The winner of the 2010 Man Booker Prize for Fiction will be announced during a ceremony at London's Guildhall on October 12th.

Longlisted works that failed to make it onto the shortlist include Christos Tsiolkas' The Slap, The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by David Mitchell and Helen Dunmore's The Betrayal.
 

Jonathan Ruppin, web editor at Foyles, commented: 'The omission of both David Mitchell and Christos Tsiolkas from the shortlist is a real shock. While both writers might rightly feel aggrieved at being overlooked, I imagine it took some wrangling amongst the judges to reduce one of the best longlists in years to six.

'The two female writers have the most sales potential but all six titles are accessible. The quality which unites the six is a lightness of touch which means the reader doesn't get bogged down in something worthy or dull.

'The prize is wide open this year and predicting a winner is difficult as all six shortlisted books have received fairly mixed reviews, but if pushed, I'd suggest Emma Donoghue.

'The blend of established names and deserving writers makes this year's shortlist an encouraging snapshot of the quality of contemporary writing and a strong commercial list for bookshops keen to repeat the big sales of recent years.'
 

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