The Man Booker Prize promotes the finest in fiction by rewarding the very best book of the year. The prize is the world’s most important literary award and has the power to transform the fortunes of authors and publishers.
This years books are 13 books by four Americans, six Britons, two Irish writers and one Australian. The only criteria is that the book has to be written in English.
The Man Booker Prize for Fiction 2014 will be chaired by AC Grayling. The judges are: Jonathan Bate, Sarah Churchwell, Dr Alastair Niven, Dr Daniel Glaser and Erica Wagner.
The Key Dates for the 2014 Prize:
- The longlist was announced on Wednesday 23 July 2014
- The shortlist will be announced on Tuesday 9 September 2014
- The winner will be announced on Tuesday 14th October 2014
History of the Rain is the book about Ruth Swain, who just lost her father and is trying to find him through stories and through the generations of the family history. Her father left three thousand, nine hundred and fifty eight books piled high that her father left behind. Ruth Swain pledges to work her way through all the books.
How to be Both is a novel about art’s versatility, it’s a fast-moving genre-bending conversation between forms, times, truths and fictions. There’s a renaissance artist of the 1460s. There’s the child of a child of the 1960s. Two tales of love and injustice twist into a singular yarn where time gets timeless, structural gets playful, knowing gets mysterious, fictional gets real – and all life’s givens get given a second chance.
This is a book about the future, a book where the past is a dangerous country. J is a love story of incomparable strangeness. Two people who fall in love, neither knowing where they came from or where they are going. Hanging over the lives of all the characters in this novel is a momentous catastrophe – a past event shrouded in suspicion, denial and apology, now referred to as What Happened, If It Happened.
Orfeo is the story of a man journeying into his past as he desperately flees the present. The seventy-year old avant-garde composer Peter Els has been experimenting by DNA strands to find musical patterns in the strands. Though it doesn’t go as he hopes and one day the police is on his doorstep. He flees and becomes a national figutive called the ‘Bioterrorist Bach’.
The Blazing is the book about the artist Harriet Burden, consumed by fury at the lack of recognition she has received from the New York art establishment. She tries an experiment: she hides her identity behind three male fronts who exhibit her work as their own. But still there are those who refuse to believe that she is the real artist. The book is presented as a collection of texts compiled after the death of Burden.
The Bone Clocks follows the twists and turns of Holly’s life, from a scarred adolescence in Gravesend to old age on Ireland’s Atlantic coast as Europe’s oil supply dries up. One drowsy summer’s day in 1984, teenage runaway Holly Sykes encounters a strange woman who offers a small kindness in exchange for ‘asylum’. Decades will pass before Holly understands exactly what sort of asylum the woman was seeking…
The Dog is led by a brilliantly entertaining anti-hero. Imprisoned by his endless powers of reasoning, hemmed in by the ethical demands of globalized life, he is fatefully drawn towards the only logical response to our confounding epoch.
Set in Calcutta in 1967, Supratik has become dangerously involved in extremist political activism. Compelled by an idealistic desire to change his life and the world around him. The Goshes are the ageing patriarch and matriarch of the family, they are unaware of the shifting of the sands beneath them. For this is a moment of turbulence, of inevitable and unstoppable change: the chasm between the generations, and between those who have and those who have not, has never been wider.
The Narrow Road to the Deep North is a love story unfolding over half a century between a doctor and his uncle’s wife. The construction of the Thailand-Burma Death Railway in World War II is central in the book. The surgeon working on one of the camps on the Death Railway is haunted by his love affair. Struggling to save the men along the Death Railway he receives a letter that will change his life forever.
The Wake is a post-apocalyptic story of the brutal shattering of lives, a tale of lost gods and haunted visions. Set in the three years after the Norman invasion of 1066, it tells the story of Buccmaster of Holland, a man from the Lincolnshire Fens who, with a fractured band of guerilla fighters, takes up arms against the invaders.
To Rise Again at a Decent Hour is the story about Paul O’Rourke, 40 year-old slightly curmudgeonly dentist who runs a thriving practice in New York. As Paul tries to work out the meaning of life, a Facebook page and Twitter account appear in his name. What’s at first an outrageous violation of privacy soon becomes something more frightening: the possibility that the online “Paul” might be a better version of the man in the flesh.
Us tells the story of Douglas Petersen, whose marriage of twenty-one years to Connie is almost over. When Autumn comes around, their son Albie will leave for university. Connie has decided to leave soon after. But still the summer and the holidays are there. Us is the history of a family, recounted over the course of what may well be their final weeks together. It’s a comedy about the demands of living together, about parenthood, about the relationship between reason and emotion, art and science, parents and children, middle-age and youth.
We Are All Completely Besides Ourselves is the story about Rosemary who used to talk all the time as a child. So much so that her parents used to tell her to start in the middle if she wanted to tell a story. Now Rosemary has just started college and she barely talks at all. And she definitely doesn’t talk about her family. So we’re not going to tell you too much either: you’ll have to find out for yourself what it is that makes her unhappy family unlike any other. Rosemary is now an only child, but she used to have a sister the same age as her, and an older brother. Both are now gone – vanished from her life. But there’s something unique about Rosemary’s sister, Fern. So now she’s telling her story; a looping narrative that begins towards the end, and then goes back to the beginning. Twice.