On Tuesday (13th October) night the winner of the 2015 Man Booker Prize was announced, and if you’ve not quite caught up yet it was Marlon James with ‘A history of seven killings’.
James is the first Jamaican to win the Booker, this being only the second year the prize is open to writers of any nationality writing in English.
This years announcement feels more significant than previous years as it’s officially (official by my self imposed rules of this challenge!) the last of the bookers I will read for my challenge – although I think I’ll continue reading winners and shortlisted novels from the Booker anyway!
The night before the prize was announced I attended the Booker prize shortlist readings at the Southbank Centre in London where each of the 6 shortlisted authors reads from their novel and answers questions from the audience. This year I went along with a motley crew of four friends (connected through a love of fiction rather than knowing each other particularly well!) and enjoyed hearing the authors read from their shortlisted novels. From the audience on Monday night it felt as though Hanya Yanagihara was the favourite, but my experience tells me the judges never go with the populist choice!
I’ll admit I found Marlon’s excerpt challenging to get my head around, as he read it flipped between places, times and (I think) characters. So I’m slightly apprehensive at the challenge of reading his ‘680 page epic’ (BBC) but regardless of that it’s the latest winner I’ll be adding it to my list in true fashion of this challenge getting me to read a wider variety of books I wouldn’t normally choose to pick up!