Booker Prize Offers Up Eclectic 2017 Shortlist

September 13, 2017 | 6 books mentioned 6

The Booker Prize has whittled down its longlist to an intriguing shortlist, and none of the authors tapped has previously won the Prize. This year, three Americans make the shortlist: Paul Auster, George Saunders, and Emily Fridlund. They are joined by the UK’s Ali Smith and Fiona Mozley, and UK/Pakistani writer Mohsin Hamid. The bookies suggest that Saunders is the favorite to win.

All the Booker Prize shortlisters are below (with bonus links where available):


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  1. Some great books on the shortlist, but I would love to have seen both Sebastian Barry and Mike McCormack in the final shake-up. Both excellent.

  2. Sadly, the two Irishmen mentioned by Eamonn should have had a place, but American’s are bumping out Commonwealth writers. I remember long ago my book seller expressing his disdain for book prizes and his feeling of awkwardness having to attend an event he believed held no value. This was while I was still excited by the Booker. This shortlist is so disappointing, I am pretty much done. I thought with Sarah Hall being a judge there may be hope, but nope. At least Ali Smith was acknowledged. BTW, I love American writers, my concerns have nought to do with that.

  3. I agree, it is unfortunate Sebastian Barry is still not in the running. He is so gifted, and “Days” is one of his best novels yet. Highly recommended.

  4. I was rather surprised to see Saunders on the list (regardless of what country he’s from, although for the record I didn’t think they needed to expand the Booker beyond the commonwealth either). Everything I’ve heard and read about that book is that it’s a little herky-jerky and a rather classic example of a short story writer trying on the form of the literary novel for the first time. I consider myself a pretty scholarly person in touch with the literary world at large, but I haven’t heard a single person rave about this book, as opposed to Tenth of December, which a good dozen people pushed on me or strongly encouraged me to read (and which I agree is quite marvelous).

  5. Cecil, you must be living in a cave. He just won the National Book Award, and he has been well reviewed in countless publications…

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