As I’m sure most of you will know by now, today has been one of the most important dates in the UK literary calendar, with the announcement of the shortlist for the 2011 Man Booker Prize. Predictably, this year’s shortlist has already prompted quite a bit of commentary.
The shortlist is particularly noticeable this year for including 4 books from first-time novelists among the 6 chosen titles. Here at Continuum, we’re particularly interested in the shortlist this year because one of the titles in contention is Pigeon English by Stephen Kelman, published by our new owners at Bloomsbury. Telling the coming-of-age story of a boy from a Ghana finding his way on an inner-city housing estate, the book’s had some great reviews (such as this one from The Guardian) and I think it's great to see a book like this on the list. But you don't have to take my word for it – check the book out for yourself here.
The other big Booker story this year is about Julian Barnes' fourth time on the shortlist with his latest book The Sense of An Ending. Despite being regularly nominated (for Flaubert’s Parrot in 1984, for England, England in 1998 and for Arthur and George in 2005), Barnes has yet to win the main prize, leading critics to speculate about whether this might be his year. Barnes is the subject of the latest book in our Contemporary Critical Perspectives series. Julian Barnes: Contemporary Critical Perspectives is actually the first critical book to cover Arthur and George as well as his previous books, so if you are interested in finding out more about him, do check the book out. You can see a free preview by clicking through on the button above or find out more about the book here.
Do check out the prize website though for the full shortlist, too – it looks like a really interesting selection of books this year.
Continuum Literary Studies