Booker Prize Odds and More

July 29, 2009 | 12 books mentioned 1

The Booker longlist was announced yesterday. Going over the list, I noted that it didn’t seem very multi-cultural. One of the interesting things about the Booker is that any author from the Commonwealth of Nations or from Ireland is eligible. This means that any of 54 countries might send a writer to Booker glory. This year, however, the judging committee is keeping things geographically constrained, with only three countries represented among the 13 finalists:

  • England, 9 (Byatt, Foulds, Harvey, Lever, Mantel, Hall, Mawer, Scudamore, Waters)
  • Ireland, 3 (O’Loughlin, Toibin, Trevor)
  • South Africa, 1 (Coetzee)

Moving on to less serious matters, the Booker betting odds are now out (and subject to change as punters put their money on the line). The bookmakers like Toibin and Waters to win, but James Lever is putting in an impressive showing with his mock memoir of a chimp.

created The Millions and is its publisher. He and his family live in New Jersey.

One comment:

  1. Should we really be that surprised? The Booker has been awarded forty-five times since 1969, and more than half (twenty-four) have gone to British citizens. Only a handful of other countries have been represented in the Booker (India, Ireland, Australia, and Canada being the most successful) – although Vanuatu, Botswana, and Belize are all technically eligible, writers from most countries in the Commonwealth never even sniff the longlist, it seems.

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