This year, the "Booker Dozen" is actually a baker's dozen. The "longlist" -- or semifinalists -- for the 2008 Man Booker prize was announced yesterday and it is comprised of thirteen books. The Man Booker is awarded every year in England to a book judged to be the best original full-length novel written in English by a citizen of either the British Commonwealth or the Republic of Ireland. In recent years, this prize has become increasingly important in the US, with the winner and finalists drawing increasing prominence -- and sales -- because of that status.
This year's longlist is as follows:
The White Tiger, by Aravind Adiga
Girl in a Blue Dress, by Gaynor Arnold
The Secret Scripture, by Sebastian Barry
From A to X, by John Berger
The Lost Dog, by Michelle de Kretser
Sea of Poppies, by Amitav Ghosh
The Clothes on Their Backs, by Linda Grant
A Case of Exploding Mangoes, by Mohammed Hanif
The Northern Clemency, by Philip Hensher
Netherland, by Joseph O'Neill
The Enchantress of Florence, by Salman Rushdie
Child 44, by Tim Rob Smith
A Fraction of the Whole, by Steve Toltz
Of these books, eight are currently available in this country. Four more -- Girl in a Blue Dress, From A to X, Sea of Poppies, and The Northern Clemency -- are due to be published over the next several months. The Clothes on Their Backs does not appear to be available in the US at this time.
The Man Booker shortlist -- about five finalists -- will be announced in September, and the winner in October. More information can be found at the award's website.