Man Booker Prize longlist includes Paul Beatty’s novel set in South L.A. and J.M. Coetzee

From: Los Angeles Timesbeatty_paul_c_hannah_assouline

By Michael Schaub

The British-based Man Booker Prize, one of the most prestigious awards for literary fiction in the world, announced its longlist Wednesday, with five American authors on the list of 13.

It’s only the third year that authors from outside the Commonwealth have been considered for the prize, which presented its first award in 1969. It has such a high profile in England that people wager on its outcome, following the odds on betting sites such as Ladbrokes.

Paul Beatty made the 2016 longlist for his novel “The Sellout,” a biting satire about race relations in a fictional community in South Los Angeles. The novel was the winner of the 2015 National Book Critics Circle prize for fiction.

Writing for The Times, critic Kiese Laymon called Beatty’s novel “spectacular” and “among the most important and difficult American novels written in the 21st century.”

The biggest name among the finalists is J.M. Coetzee — not only has he won the Man Booker twice, he is a recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature. Coetzee, a South African native who is now an Australian citizen, made the list with his novel “The Schooldays of Jesus.”

Since 2014, the Man Booker Prize has been open to writers of any nationality. The prize was previously restricted to authors from the United Kingdom, Ireland, Zimbabwe and the Commonwealth of Nations.

No American has won the award. Last year’s winner, Marlon James (“A Brief History of Seven Killings”), is a Jamaican writer who lives in Minnesota and is a Los Angeles Times Critic at Large.

“The Sellout” joins four other American books on the longlist: David Means’ “Hystopia,” Ottessa Moshfegh’s “Eileen” (which was a finalist for the NBCC award won by Beatty), Virginia Reeves’ “Work Like Any Other” and Elizabeth Strout’s “My Name Is Lucy Barton.” Read Rest of Article Here


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