Tre historiske romaner er blant titlene som kjemper om å vinne årets Bookerpris.
Blant dem finner vi en bok med handling fra Skottland på 1800-tallet og en roman fra revolusjonen i Kina. Av de andre kortlistede romanene finner vi blant annet en dystopisk satire om slaveri, en roman om morskap og kvinnelig vennskap. Kjønnsbalansen blant forfatterne er god, med tre kvinnelige og tre mannlige forfattere. Kun en av årets kortlisteforfattere har vært nominert til prisen tidligere, noe som i følge en pressemelding fra Manbookerprize.com viser at juryen har valgt ut bøkene på bakgrunn av deres kvalitet.
Her er de seks romanene på årets kortliste:
Graeme Macrae Burnet: His Bloody Project
In 1869, the case of Roderick Macrae gripped the British public: newspapers slavishly followed his trial, and ‘penny dreadfuls’ gleefully described the gory details of the brutal slaying of three people in a remote crofting community. In His Bloody Project, author Graeme Macrae Burnet recounts the story of the murders and the subsequent trial.»
Born in the ‘agrarian ghetto’ of Dickens on the southern outskirts of Los Angeles and raised by a single father, a controversial sociologist, the narrator of The Sellout spent his childhood as the subject in racially charged psychological studies. He is led to believe his father’s pioneering work will result in a memoir that will solve his family’s financial woes. But when his father is killed in a police shoot-out, he realises there never was a memoir. All that’s left is the bill for a drive-through funeral.
Two strangers arrive in a small Spanish fishing village. The older woman is suffering from mysterious paralysis, driven to seek a cure beyond the bounds of conventional medicine. Her daughter Sofia has spent years playing the reluctant detective in this mystery, struggling to understand her mother’s illness.
The Christmas season offers little cheer for Eileen Dunlop, an unassuming yet disturbed young woman trapped between her role as her alcoholic father’s carer in his squalid home and her day job as a secretary at the boys’ prison, filled with its own quotidian horrors. Consumed by resentment and self-loathing, Eileen tempers her dreary days with perverse fantasies and dreams of escaping to the big city. In the meantime, she fills her nights and weekends with shoplifting, stalking a handsome prison guard named Randy, and cleaning up her increasingly deranged father’s messes. When the beautiful, charismatic Rebecca Saint John arrives on the scene as the new counsellor at the prison, Eileen is enchanted and unable to resist what appears to be a miraculously budding friendship. In a Hitchcockian twist, her affection for Rebecca pulls her into complicity in a crime that surpasses her wildest imaginings.
Nine men. Each of them at a different stage of life, each of them away from home, and each of them striving – in the suburbs of Prague, beside a Belgian motorway, in a crap Cypriot hotel – to understand just what it means to be alive, here and now.
Madeleine Thien: Do Not Say We Have Nothing
In Canada in 1991, ten-year-old Marie and her mother invite a guest into their home: a young woman called Ai-Ming, who has fled China in the aftermath of the Tiananmen Square protests.Ai-Ming tells Marie the story of her family in Revolutionary China – from the crowded teahouses in the first days of Chairman Mao’s ascent to the Shanghai Conservatory in the 1960s and the events leading to the Beijing demonstrations of 1989.
Hvis du vil ha nærmere informasjon om flere av bøkene anbefaler jeg at du leser Mariannes omtaler av flere av de kortlistene bøkene her. Jeg anbefaler dessuten at du følger bloggen Har Du Lest som har gode oppdateringer og innsiktsfulle bloggposter om prisen.
Bookerprisen deles ut hvert år til den beste romanen skrevet på engelsk, og ble for første gang utdelt i 1969. Årets vinner annonseres 25. oktober.