sat 15/08/2020

Your chance to be a Booker Prize judge | reviews, news & interviews

Your chance to be a Booker Prize judge

Your chance to be a Booker Prize judge

The Lost Man Booker Prize is open...

Four decades ago, a bunch of good books fell through the net. The year was 1970, in which the Booker Prize – as it was then sponsorlessly known – was inaugurated. The original winner was Bernice Rubens with The Elected Member, but it now seems that she may have had an easy run of it.

In the first two years of its life, the prize was awarded in March, rather than November, with the result that several books published in the months after the cut-off date were not considered. Hence the Lost Man Booker Prize, open 40 years on to those novels which fell victim to the scheduling black hole.

The Lost Man Booker Prize will be awarded just the once. Today, the shortlist was announced. Whittled down from a longlist of 21 titles, deemed eligible for only if they were still available to buy today, the six finalists are as follows:

Bawden has been nominated before, as was Spark (twice). Farrell won in 1973 with The Siege of Krishnapur. Of the shortlist, only Bawden and Hazzard would be available to collect the prize when it is announced on 19 May. The rest of the finalists are no longer with us.

The judges, for the record, were all born in or around the year under consideration: the journalist and critic Rachel Cooke, newsreader Katie Derham and poet and novelist Tobias Hill. However, they will not be selecting the winner. Instead, that privilege falls to you.

For one year only, the reading public can nominate their preferred choice on the Man Booker Prize website. Voting closes on April 23rd. The website makes no mention of whether it requires those voting to read the entire shortlist. However, if you wish to familiarise yourself with any or all of the finalists, click on the links above to buy the shortlisted novels on Amazon.

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