Submitted by Man Booker Prize on Thu, 2017-08-24 10:27
In this Man Booker Prize 2017 longlisted author interview Mike McCormack talks to us about his favourite Man Booker-winning novel and the experimental impulse among today’s readers and publishers.
What has it been like to be longlisted?
It has been fun actually. People have been kind and sent best wishes. You’d need to be very awkward not to enjoy it. My own feelings have swung between delight, disbelief and wonderment.
What are you working on next?
I’ve been working on a short story for the past two months. From what I can tell it is no nearer completion today than it was when I started it.
What are you reading at the moment?
I’ve just started Neil Griffiths’ ambitious third novel, As a God Might Be, which is coming out in October. One hundred pages in, it is shaping up to be a mighty enquiry into contemporary faith and revelation. A compelling central character and great narrative energy keep the pages turning….
What is your favourite Man Booker–winning novel?
I could have picked four or five novels here but I am going to go with J M Coetzee’s 1983 winner, Life and Times of Michael K. This was my first encounter with a contemporary master.
Do you feel that writing formally experimental fiction is battling the odds?
I would have answered yes to that question a couple of years ago when there was no appetite whatsoever among publishers for experimental fiction. But in the last few years the experimental impulse has been fostered by small and independent publishers who are willing to take a chance on novels which depart from the received form. And in turn, these books have won readers who are unafraid of the disruptive challenge they present. So, with readers and publishers coming on board, I think this is a hospitable time for writers who wish to expand the shape of our fictions.