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The Lost Man Booker shortlist announced

The Lost Man Booker shortlist announced


Shortlist thrown open to public vote

The shortlist for The Lost Man Booker Prize - a one-off prize to honour the books published in 1970 that were not eligible for consideration for the Booker Prize - is announced today, Thursday 25 March.

The shortlist was announced at a special event at the Sunday Times Oxford Literary Festival.  

The six books are as follows:

The Birds on the Trees by Nina Bawden (Virago)
Troubles by J G Farrell (Phoenix)
The Bay of Noon by Shirley Hazzard (Virago)
Fire From Heaven by Mary Renault (Arrow)
The Driver's Seat by Muriel Spark (Penguin)
The Vivisector by Patrick White (Vintage)

The shortlist was selected by a panel of three judges, all of whom were born in or around 1970. They are journalist and critic, Rachel Cooke, ITN newsreader, Katie Derham and poet and novelist, Tobias Hill. They chose the six books from an original longlist of 21 eligible titles which are still in print and generally available today.

The Lost Man Booker is the brainchild of Peter Straus, the honorary archivist to The Booker Prize Foundation. He realised that in 1971, just two years after it began, the Booker Prize ceased to be awarded retrospectively and became - as it is today - a prize for the best novel of the year of publication. At the same time the award moved from April to November and, as a result, a wealth of fiction published for much of 1970 fell through the net and was never considered for the prize.

The judges have chosen the shortlist but the winner of The Lost Man Booker Prize will be decided by the international reading public. Voting, via the Man Booker Prize website (www.themanbookerprize.com) commences today, and closes on April 23rd. The overall winner will be announced on 19th May.

Ion Trewin, literary director of the Man Booker Prizes comments, "The judges have chosen a very impressive list of fiction that, though published 40 years ago, clearly still has resonance today. For those who are rereading these novels and for those who are coming to them for the first time we look forward to learning via the Man Booker website what they think is best."

Three of the authors on the shortlist have previously had success with the Booker Prize. J.G. Farrell's The Siege of Krishnapur won in 1973; Muriel Spark was shortlisted for her novels The Public Image (1969) and Loitering with Intent (1981) and Nina Bawden was shortlisted in 1987 for Circles of Deceit. Patrick White, Mary Renault and Shirley Hazzard have never been shortlisted for the Booker or Man Booker Prize.

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The Shortlisted Books

The Birds on the Trees by Nina Bawden

(Published by Virago)

The expulsion from school of their eldest son shatters the middle-class security of Maggie, a writer, and Charlie, a journalist. Since childhood, Toby has been diffident and self-absorbed but the threat of drug taking and his refusal (or inability) to discuss his evident unhappiness, disturbs them sufficiently to seek professional help. Veering between private agony and public cheerfulness, Maggie and Charlie struggle to support their son and cope with the reactions - and advice - of friends and relatives. Noted for the acuity with which she reaches into the heart of relationships, Nina Bawden reveals the painful, intimate truths of a family in crisis. The Birds on the Trees raises fundamental questions about parents and their children and offers tentative hope but no tidy solutions.

Nina Bawden was born in London in 1925. She is the author of over 40 novels; 23 for adults and 19 for children. Several of her novels for children have become contemporary classics, notably Carrie's War and The Peppermint Pig. Her adult work includes Family Money and the Booker shortlisted Circles of Deceit. She is currently writing a book that draws on her experience of the Potters Bar rail disaster of May 2002, in which her husband of 48 years died. This tragic episode also inspired the recent David Hare play, The Permanent Way, in which Nina Bawden featured as one of the characters. She wrote Dear Austen, an address to her late husband, a former managing director of the BBC World Service.

For further information, please contact Zoe Hood at Little, Brown at e: zoe.hood@littlebrown.co.uk or on t: 020 7911 8070 or m: 07733 016 777

Troubles by J G Farrell

(Published by Phoenix)

Major Brendan Archer travels to Ireland - to the Majestic Hotel and to the fiancée he acquired on a rash afternoon's leave three years ago. Despite her many letters, the lady herself proves elusive, and the Major's engagement is short-lived. But he is unable to detach himself from the alluring discomforts of the crumbling hotel. Ensconced in the dim and shabby splendour of the Palm Court, surrounded by gently decaying old ladies and proliferating cats, the Major passes the summer. So hypnotic are the faded charms of the Majestic, the Major is almost unaware of the gathering storm. But this is Ireland in 1919 - and the struggle for independence is about to explode with brutal force.

J G Farrell was born in Liverpool in January 1935. In 1956 he went to study at Brasenose College, Oxford; it was while there he contracted polio. He drew heavily on his experience for his second novel, The Lung (1965). His novel, Troubles (1970), the first in the Empire trilogy, won the Faber Memorial Prize in 1971. A film version of Troubles was made for British television in 1988. The second in the Empire trilogy, The Siege of Krishnapur (1973) won the Booker Prize. J G Farrell died in 1979.

For further information please contact Sophie Mitchell, Publicity Manager, Orion Books at e: sophie.mitchell@orionbooks.co.uk or on t: 020 7420 5634

 The Bay of Noon by Shirley Hazzard

(Published by Virago)

Lonely and rootless, Jenny finds herself in war-torn Italy. There, against the fading grandeur of Naples, a larger emotional drama unfolds, and her close friendship with the beautiful and talented Gioconda expands to make room for a dour Scotsman and for Gioconda's lover, Gianni. These newfound friends require of Jenny much more than she had foreseen, while gradually revealing to her the changing face of love.

Shirley Hazzard was born in Sydney in 1931. She has lived in Hong Kong, New Zealand and New York where she worked for the United Nations. She is a past recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, an American Academy Award and the O. Henry Short Story Award. She was shortlisted for the 2004 Orange Prize, and won Australia's biggest literary prize, the 2004 Miles Franklin Literary Award, and the 2003 National Book Award in the United States for The Great Fire. She divides her time between New York and Naples.

For further information, please contact Zoe Hood at Little, Brown at e: zoe.hood@littlebrown.co.uk or on t: 020 7911 8070 or m: 07733 016 777

Fire From Heaven by Mary Renault

(Published by Arrow)

At twenty, when his reign began, Alexander the Great was already a seasoned soldier and a complex, passionate man. Fire From Heaven tells the story of the boy Alexander and the years that shaped him. Resolute, fearless, and inheriting a striking beauty, Alexander still needed much to make him The Great. He must survive - though with lifelong scars - the dark furies of his Dionysiac mother, who kept him uncertain even of his own paternity; respect his father's talent for war and kingcraft, though sickened by his sexual grossness; and come to terms with his heritage from both.

Mary Renault was educated at Clifton High School, Bristol and St Hugh's College, Oxford. Having completed nursing training in 1937, she then wrote her first novel Promise of Love. Her next three novels were written during off-time duty whilst serving in the war. In 1948 she went to live in South Africa but travelled widely. It was her trip to Greece and her visits to Corinth, Samos, Crete, Delos, Aegina and other islands, as well as to Athens, Sounion and Marathon, that resulted in her brilliant historical reconstructions of Ancient Greece. Mary Renault died in 1983.

For further information please contact Charlotte Bush, Publicity Director, Random House at cbush@randomhouse.co.uk or on 020 7840 8613 / m: 07711 432 531

The Driver's Seat by Muriel Spark

(Published by Penguin)

Lise has been driven to distraction by working in the same accountants' office for sixteen years. So she leaves everything behind her, transforms herself into a laughing, garishly-dressed temptress and flies abroad on the holiday of a lifetime. But her search for adventure, sex and the obsessional experience takes on a far darker significance as she heads on a journey of self-destruction. Infinity and eternity attend Lise's last terrible day in an unnamed southern city, as she meets her fate.

Muriel Spark was born and educated in Edinburgh. Active in the field of creative writing from 1950 (after winning a short-story competition in The Observer), her many subsequent novels and stories, such as Memento Mori, The Girls of Slender Means, The Only Problem, A Far Cry From Kensington and The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (adapted successfully for both film and theatre), remain phenomenally popular throughout the world. She also wrote plays, poems and children's books as well as biographies of Mary Shelley, Emily Brontë and John Masefield. Her first autobiographical volume, Curriculum Vitae, was published in 1992. She was elected C. Lit. in 1992 and was awarded the DBE in 1993. She received many awards including; the Italia Prize, the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, the FNAC Prix Etranger, the Saltire Prize, the Ingersoll T. S. Eliot Award and the David Cohen British Literature Prize in recognition of a lifetime's literary achievement. She was elected an honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1978 and Commandeur de L'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in France in 1996. Dame Muriel Spark died in 2006.

For further information please contact Rosie Glaisher, Publicity Director, Penguin Books at e: rosie.glaisher@uk.penguingroup.com

or on t: 020 7010 3150 / M: 07740 637109

The Vivisector by Patrick White

(Published by Vintage)

Hurtle Duffield is incapable of loving anything except what he paints. The men and women who court him during his long life are, above all, the victims of his art. He is the vivisector, dissecting their weaknesses with cruel precision: his sister's deformity, a grocer's moonlight indiscretion and the passionate illusions of his mistress, Hero Pavloussi. Only the egocentric adolescent he sees as his spiritual child elicits from him a deeper, more treacherous emotion.

Patrick White was born in England in 1912 and was taken to Australia - where his father owned a sheep farm - as a baby. He was educated in England and settled in London, where he wrote several unpublished novels and served in the RAF during the war; he returned after the war to Australia. He became the most considerable figure in modern Australian literature, awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1973. He has written many novels including The Tree of Man, Voss, The Eye of the Storm and The Twyborn Affair. Patrick White was the editor of Memoirs of Many in One and published a volume of autobiography, Flaws in the Glass. He died in September 1990.

For Further information please contact Lisa Gooding, Publicity Director, Random House, at e: lgooding@randomhouse.co.uk

The Judges

Rachel Cooke is a writer and columnist at The Observer. In 2006, she was named Interviewer of the Year at the British Press Awards and Feature Writer of the Year at the What the Papers Say Awards. She is the New Statesman television critic.

Katie Derham presents ITV News at 1.30 and is co-presenter of ITV's London Tonight. A former BBC journalist, she has also presented the ITV Classical Brits and still presents Radio 4's Traveller's Tree. In 2004 she was a judge for the Whitbread Book Awards, (now the Costa). She is a regular presenter on BBC Radio 3 and of the Proms.

Tobias Hill is the author of four novels and four collections of poetry, as well as one collection of short stories and one book for children, The Lion Who Ate Everything.

Notes to Editors:

• Books published in 1970 are eligible for The Lost Man Booker.

• The judges, Ion Trewin and Peter Straus are available for interview via Colman Getty.

• The shortlist was chosen from a longlist of 21 books, announced on 1 February:


o Brian Aldiss, The Hand Reared Boy

o Paul Bailey, Trespasses

o H.E. Bates, A Little Of What You Fancy?

o Nina Bawden, The Birds On The Trees

o Melvyn Bragg, A Place In England

o Christy Brown, Down All The Days

o Len Deighton, Bomber

o J.G. Farrell, Troubles

o Elaine Feinstein, The Circle

o Shirley Hazzard, The Bay Of Noon

o Reginald Hill, A Clubbable Woman

o Susan Hill, I'm The King Of The Castle

o Francis King, A Domestic Animal

o David Lodge, Out Of The Shelter

o Iris Murdoch, A Fairly Honourable Defeat

o Shiva Naipaul, Fireflies

o Patrick O'Brian, Master and Commander

o Mary Renault, Fire From Heaven

o Ruth Rendell, A Guilty Thing Surprised

o Muriel Spark, The Driver's Seat

o Patrick White, The Vivisector

• After announcing the longlist of the Lost Man Booker Prize on 1 February, two novels were found to be ineligible by virtue of not being published in Britain in 1970. The Fire-Dwellers by Margaret Laurence was actually published in 1969 and Joe Orton's Head to Toe, although originally announced for 1970 was in fact published in January 1971. However, one additional title was added to the longlist, Paul Bailey's Trespasses, which is being reissued by Bloomsbury.

• P.H. Newby was awarded the first Booker Prize in 1969, for his novel Something to Answer For. Bernice Rubens was awarded the second prize, in 1970, for The Elected Member at a ceremony that April. In 1971 the ceremony moved to November when VS Naipaul won the prize for In a Free State. For that year, novels published between January 1 and November 15, 1971, were eligible.

• Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel (Fourth Estate) won the 2009 Man Booker Prize for Fiction, becoming the fastest-selling winner, with over 270,000 copies sold in hardback in the UK. In 2010, it topped the mass market fiction bestseller lists within a week of publication - a first for a Man Booker winner.

• The Booker Prize for Fiction was first awarded in 1969, and Man Group plc was announced as the sponsor of the prize in April 2002, with a five year extension agreed in 2006. For a full history of the prize including previous winners, shortlisted authors and judges visit the website: www.themanbookerprize.com. It is a major media and information tool which is accessed worldwide with up to the minute information about both the annual Man Booker Prize and the biennial Man Booker International Prize. Featuring news, interviews and written pieces as well as a lively forum and full history archive of the prize, the site is used by journalists, bloggers and general members of the public on a daily basis.

• The Advisory Committee, which advises on any changes to the rules and on the selection of the judges, represents all sides of the book world. Its members are: Ion Trewin, Chair (Literary Director, Man Booker Prizes); Richard Cable, publisher; Mark Chilton, Company Secretary, Booker Ltd; Peter Clarke, Chief Executive, Man Group plc; Jonathan Douglas, Director of the National Literacy Trust; Maggie Fergusson, writer and Secretary of the Royal Society of Literature; Basil Comely, BBC TV; Derek Johns, literary agent; Peter Kemp, fiction editor, The Sunday Times; Nigel Newton, publisher; Fiammetta Rocco, literary editor, The Economist (Man Booker International Prize administrator); Eve Smith (Company Secretary, the Booker Prize Foundation); and Robert Topping; Topping & Company Booksellers.

• The Booker Prize Foundation is a registered charity (no 1090049) which, since 2002, has been responsible for the award of the prize. The trustees of the Booker Prize Foundation are former Chairman of Booker plc, Jonathan Taylor CBE (Chair); Lord Baker of Dorking CH; playwright and President of the Royal Literary Fund, Ronald Harwood CBE; former Chair of the British Council, Baroness Kennedy QC; writer, Baroness Neuberger DBE; and former Finance Director of Rentokil plc, Christopher Pearce. Martyn Goff CBE, former Man Booker Prize administrator, is President of the Foundation and Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne is a Vice President.

• The Man Booker Prize is sponsored by Man Group plc. Man is a world-leading alternative investment management business. With a broad range of funds for institutional and private investors globally, it is known for its performance, innovative product design and investor service. Man manages around $42 billion. The original business was founded in 1783. Today, Man Group plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a member of the FTSE 100 Index with a market capitalisation of around £5 billion. Man Group is a member of the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index and the FTSE4Good Index.

Man Group supports many awards, charities and initiatives around the world, including sponsorship of the Man Booker literary prizes. In the year to March 2010 the Man Group plc Charitable Trust continued to fund innovate projects for children and adults that improve literacy. Donations were made to support the "Every Child a Reader" reading recovery programme, Dyslexia Action, The Mayor's Fund for London, National Literacy Trust and St Petrock's (Exeter). The Trust also supports the RNIB Talking Books Service, enabling the production and distribution of Talking Book formats of the shortlisted titles of the Man Booker Prize.

Further information can be found at www.mangroupplc.com

• Booker is the UK's leading food wholesaler with over 170 branches nationwide. It serves over 350,000 independent businesses.

• The Booker Prize Archive was given on loan in 2003 to Oxford Brookes University where it now resides.