Submitted by Leah on Tue, 2013-07-16 14:46
The longlist for the 2013 Man Booker Prize will be announced later today, 23rd July. Check back then to find out the news first or follow us on twitter @ManBookerPrize.
There have been 151 books submitted this year and the judging panel - Robert Macfarlane (chair), Robert Douglas-Fairhurst, Natalie Haynes, Martha Kearney and Stuart Kelly - have been busy reading their way through the submissions for the last six months.
As if that wasn’t a big enough job in itself the judges have had a busy few months:
2013 Chair Robert Macfarlane’s own literary success continues with his latest book, Holloway, published to great acclaim in June. His last book, The Old Ways, is currently shortlisted for the Dolman Travel Book of the Year, having also been shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize earlier this year and nominated for the Duff Cooper Prize.
Robert Douglas-Fairhurst has been busy co-editing and writing an introduction for a new edition of The Water Babies, published earlier in the year to celebrate the book’s 150th anniversary. Written in the mid nineteenth century by Charles Kingsley, this classic fairy tale has been described as one of the strangest and most powerful children’s books ever published. Robert celebrated the publication of the new edition in style, with a fascinating talk at The Oxford Literary Festival.
Natalie Haynes is “delighted…and really, really happy” that her debut novel The Amber Fury is to be published by Corvus next year. The story is a psychological page-turner following the life of Alex Morris, an inexperienced teacher who takes on a class of five troubled teenagers with whom she builds a powerful, and ultimately dangerous, connection. Natalie also wrote a piece to describe the experience of judging in her regular column in The Independent in June, in which she commented on the Mantel effect, judging the level of historical fiction that has been submitted this year. Natalie will join Ion Trewin, Literary Director of the Booker Prize Foundation, to talk about the prize to a group of sixth form students at Holland Park School on 18 September. The students will be charged to read the longlisted titles over the summer and the school will host a book sale around shortlist to encourage students to buy the books ahead of the event.
Some of you may have recently seen Stuart Kelly on BBC 2 talking about one of his other areas of expertise, Sir Walter Scott, as he filmed a behind the scenes documentary on the great man ahead of the reopening of Abbotsford House, Scott’s home in the Borders. Kelly also paid tribute to his close friend and award-winning writer Iain Banks, who sadly died last month, in a Granta magazine article examining the lasting legacy of Banks’ works. Banks, who was one of the Granta’s Best Of Young British Novelists in 1993, was an extremely popular science-fiction novelist who received eighteen awards or nominations for his works.
As a presenter on both BBC Radio 4’s The World At One and BBC 2’s The Review Show, Martha always has her finger on the pulse of the hottest topics on the UK’s news agenda. Over the last six months she has covered everything from the NHS 111 phoneline to the future of banking. A keen beekeeper, Martha also introduced the BBC 4 documentary Who Killed the Honey Bee?, which aired last month.
And let us not forget our 2012 winner, Hilary Mantel, who made history as the first woman and first British author to win the prize twice with Bring Up the Bodies. She was also the first person to win the prize for two novels in a trilogy, following her success in 2009 with Wolf Hall. She was the first Man Booker Prize author to win the Costa Prize in January and, in May, went on to score another first with the mass-market edition of Bring Up the Bodies entering the official UK Top 50 at the number one spot. She also won the David Cohen Prize in March, in recognition of a 28-year and 13-book writing life and in April joined the ranks of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people.
Hilary Mantel was also in the spotlight once more earlier this month when the cast for The Royal Shakespeare Company's adaptation of Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies was announced. Both are also to be filmed for a BBC drama later this year.
Previous winners of the Man Booker Prize can be viewed in Explore the Archive
For more information on the Man Booker Prize, please read our Frequently Asked Questions