Booker Prize Offers Up Eclectic 2017 Shortlist

September 13, 2017 | 6 books mentioned 6 2 min read

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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