Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Man Booker Prize 2008 Shortlist Announced

The Man Booker Prize promotes the finest in fiction by rewarding the very best book of the year. The shortlist for this year’s prize was announced yesterday, 9 September 2008. Click on the book’s title to read more about the nominee or click on the Check Availability link to find the book in the Library Catalogue.
  • The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga Born in a village in heartland India, the son of a rickshaw puller, Balram is taken out of school by his family and put to work in a teashop. As he crushes coals and wipes tables, he nurses a dream of escape - of breaking away from the banks of Mother Ganga, into whose depths have seeped the remains of a hundred generations. Check Availability
  • The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry Told through the journals of Roseanne McNulty and her psychiatrist Dr Grene, the story that emerges - of Roseanne’s family in 1930s Sligo - is at once shocking and deeply beautiful. Refracted through the haze of memory and retelling, Roseanne’s story becomes an alternative, secret, history of Ireland. Exquisitely written, it is the story of a life blighted by terrible mistreatment and ignorance, and yet marked still by love and passion and hope. Check Availability
  • Sea of Poppies by Amitav Ghosh In a time of colonial upheaval, fate has thrown together a truly diverse cast of Indians and Westerners, from a bankrupt Raja to a widowed villager, from an evangelical English opium trader to a mulatto American freedman. As their old family ties are washed away they, like their historical counterparts, come to view themselves as jahaj-bhais or ship-brothers. An unlikely dynasty is born, which will span continents, races and generations. Check Availability
  • The Clothes on Their Backs by Linda Grant In a red brick mansion block off the Marylebone Road, Vivien, a sensitive, bookish girl grows up sealed off from both past and present by her timid refugee parents. Through Vivien we discover the colourful characters at Benson Court, who play a part in the development of this at first, timid and unworldly young woman. Then, one morning, a glamorous older man appears, dressed in a mohair suit, with a diamond watch on his wrist and a girl in a leopard-skin hat on his arm. He is her Uncle Sándor but why, is he so violently unwelcome in her parents’ home? Check Availability
  • The Northern Clemency by Philip Hensher Set in Sheffield, The Northern Clemency charts the relationship between two families: Malcolm and Katherine Glover and their three children; and their neighbours the Sellers family, newly arrived from London. Check Availability
  • A Fraction of the Whole by Steve Toltz As he recollects the events that led to his father’s demise, Jasper recounts a boyhood of outrageous schemes and shocking discoveries - about his infamous outlaw uncle Terry, his mysteriously absent European mother, and Martin’s constant losing battle to make a lasting mark on the world he so disdains. It’s a story that takes them from the Australian bush to the cafes of Paris, from the Thai jungle to strip clubs, asylums, labyrinths and criminal lairs, and from the highs of first love to the lows of failed ambition. The result is a rollercoaster ride from obscurity to infamy, and the moving, memorable story of a father and son whose spiritual symmetry transcends all their many shortcomings. Check Availability

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