Two Irish writers are among the 13 authors long listed for the 2014 Man Booker Prize, described by JM Coetzee as “the ultimate prize to win in the English speaking world.”
Niall Williams and Joseph O'Neill are the Irish authors from around the world whose books have been chosen for the coveted prize.
Williams, originally from Dublin and now living in County Clare, is nominated for his book “History of the Rain.” O’Neill, born in Cork and living and writing in New York, is nominated for “The Dog.”
For the first time in its 46 year history, the £50,000 ($85,200) prize has, in 2014, been opened up to writers of any nationality, writing originally in English and published in the United Kingdom.
The 2014 longlist, for Man Booker ‘Dozen’, of 13 novels, is:
Joshua Ferris (American) – “To Rise Again at a Decent Hour”
Richard Flanagan (Australian) – “The Narrow Road to the Deep North”
Karen Joy Fowler (American) – “We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves”
Siri Hustvedt (American) – “The Blazing World”
Howard Jacobson (British) – “J”
Paul Kingsnorth (British) – “The Wake”
David Mitchell (British) – “The Bone Clocks”
Neel Mukherjee (British) – “The Lives of Others”
David Nicholls (British) – “Us”
Joseph O'Neill (Irish/American) – “The Dog”
Richard Powers (American) – “Orfeo”
Ali Smith (British) – “How to be Both”
Niall Williams (Irish) – “History of the Rain”
First awarded in 1969, the prize is recognized as the touchstone for high quality literary fiction written in English. Its canon contains many of the literary trailblazers of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries from Salman Rushdie to Hilary Mantel, Iris Murdoch to Peter Carey. Past Irish winners include J.G. Farrell, Roddy Doyle, John Banville, and Anne Enright.
This year 154 books were entered for the prize by UK publishers, of which 44 titles were by authors who are now eligible under the new rule changes.
Chair of the 2014 judges, AC Grayling, said of the long list, “This is a diverse list of ambition, experiment, humor and artistry. The novels selected are full of wonderful stories and fascinating characters.
‘The judges were impressed by the high quality of writing and the range of issues tackled - from 1066 to the future, from a PoW camp in Thailand, to a dentist’s chair in Manhattan; from the funny to the deeply serious, sometimes in the same book.”
The shortlist will be announced on Tuesday, September 9 with the winner announced on Tuesday, October 14.