This year’s longlist of 13 books for the Man Booker Prize was announced this morning and includes four titles from Hamish Hamilton, a Penguin General imprint and one of Britain’s most distinguished literary lists. This is the first time that four books from a single imprint, with the same editor (Simon Prosser) have been selected for the prize.
Highlighting the diversity of Penguin Random House UK’s authors, longlisted for the 2017 prize are works from four excellent international writers whose stories span the globe:
Pakistani-born Mohsin Hamid makes the list for the second time, having been shortlisted for The Reluctant Fundamentalist in 2007, with Exit West. An extraordinary story of love and hope, Exit West sees two ordinary young people, attempting to do an extraordinary thing - to fall in love - in a world turned upside down.
The Ministry of Utmost Happiness marks the return to fiction for Arundhati Roy after twenty years, having previously won the Booker prize with her last novel The God of Small Things in 1997. Taking its readers on a journey, the story spools outwards from the cramped neighbourhoods of Old Delhi into the burgeoning new metropolis and beyond, to the Valley of Kashmir and the forests of Central India.
Ali Smith, previously shortlisted for the Man Booker and winner of the Baileys prize for How to Be Both, returns to the list with her breathtakingly inventive new novel, Autumn. The first in a shape-shifting series, Autumn is wide-ranging in timescale and light-footed through histories, and a story about ageing and time and love and stories themselves.
Multi-award winning author of White Teeth and On Beauty, Zadie Smith returns again to the Man Booker longlist with Swing Time. A dazzlingly exuberant new novel moving from north west London to West Africa, Swing Time is a story about music and identity, race and class, those who follow the dance and those who lead it.
Simon Prosser, Publishing Director of Hamish Hamilton, said: “I am so happy for Ali, Arundhati, Mohsin and Zadie; for their books; and also of course for Hamish Hamilton. All four of them feel an essential part of Hamish Hamilton’s DNA and define, for me, the diverse and enduring literary values which I hope characterise our list.”
About the Man Booker Prize
The 2017 longlist was selected by a panel of five judges: Baroness Lola Young (Chair); literary critic, Lila Azam Zanganeh; Man Booker Prize shortlisted novelist, Sarah Hall; artist, Tom Phillips CBE RA; and travel writer, Colin Thubron CBE. It was chosen from 144 submissions published in the UK between 1 October 2016 and 30 September 2017.
The shortlist of six books will be announced on Wednesday 13 September at a press conference at the London offices of Man Group, the prize’s sponsor. The shortlisted authors each receive £2,500 and a specially bound edition of their book.
The 2017 winner will then be announced on Tuesday 17 October in London’s Guildhall at a black-tie dinner, one of the highlights of the publishing year. The ceremony will be broadcast by the BBC.
The Man Booker Prize for Fiction, first awarded in 1969, is open to writers of any nationality, writing originally in English and published in the UK.