The Man Booker Prize for fiction is a literary prize awarded each year for the best original novel written in the English language and published in the United Kingdom. It’s awarding is greeted with great anticipation and fanfare, with the winner generally assured of international renown and success. To be included on either the shortlist or longlist is also seen as a mark of distinction.
The Man Booker Prize 2016 winner and shortlisted titles are available to borrow from our libraries.
Man Booker Prize 2016 Winner
The sellout, Paul Beatty
Born in the ‘agrarian ghetto’ of Dickens, Los Angeles, the narrator of The sellout is raised by a single father, a controversial sociologist, and spends his childhood as the subject in racially charged psychological studies. Led to believe his father’s pioneering work will result in a memoir that will solve his family’s financial woes, he is shocked to discover, when his father is killed in a police shoot-out, that there never was a memoir. All that’s left is a bill for a drive-through funeral. Fueled by this deceit and the general disrepair of his hometown, the narrator sets out to right another wrong: Dickens has literally been removed from the map to save California from embarrassment. Enlisting the help of Dickens’ most famous resident, Hominy Jenkins, he initiates the most outrageous action conceivable: reinstating slavery and segregating the local high school. What follows is a remarkable journey that challenges the sacred tenets of the United States Constitution, urban life, the civil rights movement and the holy grail of racial equality – the black Chinese restaurant.
Man Booker Prize 2016 shortlist
‘I have been sleuthing my mother’s symptoms for as long as I can remember. If I see myself as an unwilling detective with a desire for justice, is her illness an unsolved crime? If so, who is the villain and who is the victim?’.
Sofia, a young anthropologist, has spent much of her life trying to solve the mystery of her mother’s explainable illness. Hot milk is a profound exploration of the sting of sexuality, of unspoken female rage, of myth and modernity, the lure of hypochondria and big pharma, and, above all, the value of experimenting with life; of being curious, bewildered, and vitally alive to the world.
His bloody project, Graeme McRae Burnet
Dark and deadly deeds in a remote northwestern crofting community in 1869 lead to the arrest of a young man by the name of Roderick Macrae. Only the persuasive powers of his advocate stand between Macrae and the inevitability of the gallows at Inverness. Will he swing for his wicked acts?
Eileen, Ottessa Moshfegh
The Christmas season offers little cheer for Eileen Dunlop, an unassuming yet disturbed young woman trapped between her role as her alcoholic father’s carer in his squalid home and her day job as a secretary at the boys’ prison, filled with its own quotidian horrors. Consumed by resentment and self-loathing, Eileen tempers her dreary days with perverse fantasies and dreams of escaping to the big city. In the meantime, she fills her nights and weekends with shoplifting, stalking a handsome prison guard named Randy, and cleaning up her increasingly deranged father’s messes. When the beautiful, charismatic Rebecca Saint John arrives on the scene as the new counselor at the prison, Eileen is enchanted and unable to resist what appears to be a miraculously budding friendship.
All that man is, David Szalay
Here are nine men. Each of them is at a different stage in life, each of them is away from home, and each of them is striving – in the suburbs of Prague, in an over-developed Alpine village, beside a Belgian motorway, in a crap Cypriot hotel – to understand just what it means to be alive, here and now. Vibrating with detail and intelligence, pathos and surprise, All that man is is a portrait of contemporary manhood, contemporary Europe and contemporary life from a British writer of supreme gifts – the master of a new kind of realism.
In Canada in 1990, ten-year-old Marie and her mother invite a guest into their home: a young woman who has fled China in the aftermath of the Tiananmen Square protests. Her name is Ai-Ming. As her relationship with Marie deepens, Ai-Ming tells the story of her family in revolutionary China, from the crowded teahouses in the first days of Chairman Mao’s ascent, to the Shanghai Conservatory in the 1960s and the events leading to the Beijing demonstrations of 1989. It is a history of revolutionary idealism, music, and silence, in which three musicians, the shy and brilliant composer Sparrow, the violin prodigy Zhuli, and the enigmatic pianist Kai struggle during China’s relentless Cultural Revolution to remain loyal to one another and to the music they have devoted their lives to. Forced to re-imagine their artistic and private selves, their fates reverberate through the years, with deep and lasting consequences for Ai-Ming – and for Marie.
Written with exquisite intimacy, wit and moral complexity, Do not say we have nothing magnificently brings to life one of the most significant political regimes of the 20th century and its traumatic legacy, which still resonates for a new generation. It is a gripping evocation of the persuasive power of revolution and its effects on personal and national identity, and an unforgettable meditation on China today.