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The Man Booker Prize for Fiction 2015 shortlist is revealed
15 September 2015
The six names were announced by Chair of judges, Michael Wood, at a press conference at the offices of sponsor Man Group.
The judges remarked on the variety of writing styles, cultural heritage and literary backgrounds of the writers on the shortlist, which includes new authors alongside established names. Two authors come from the United Kingdom, two from the United States and one apiece from Jamaica and Nigeria.
This is the second year that the prize, first awarded in 1969, has been open to writers of any nationality, writing originally in English and published in the UK. Previously, the prize was open only to authors from the UK & Commonwealth, Republic of Ireland and Zimbabwe.
The 2015 shortlist of six novels is:
Author (nationality) Title (imprint)
Marlon James (Jamaica) A Brief History of Seven Killings (Oneworld Publications)
Tom McCarthy (UK) Satin Island (Jonathan Cape)
Chigozie Obioma (Nigeria) The Fishermen (ONE, Pushkin Press)
Sunjeev Sahota (UK) The Year of the Runaways (Picador)
Anne Tyler (US) A Spool of Blue Thread (Chatto & Windus)
Hanya Yanagihara (US) A Little Life (Picador)
Chair of judges Michael Wood comments:
‘Only on rare occasions does celebration come so closely aligned with regret. The regret of what we left out was tempered by the enormous excitement we have in presenting the six books on the shortlist.
‘We re-read all 13 books on the longlist and in the process we rediscovered new pleasures in each. The writers on the shortlist present an extraordinary range of approaches to fiction. They come from very different cultures and are themselves at very different stages of their careers.’
Michael Wood is joined on the 2015 panel of judges by Ellah Wakatama Allfrey, John Burnside, Sam Leith and Frances Osborne. The judges considered 156 books for this year’s prize.
Tom McCarthy is the only shortlisted author to have been nominated before, having been shortlisted for C in 2010.
Marlon James is the first Jamaican-born author to be shortlisted for the prize. Chigozie Obioma is the second Nigerian to be nominated, after Ben Okri. Of the six authors, two are resident in the UK and four in the United States.
At 28, Chigozie Obioma is the youngest of this year’s shortlisted authors, the same age as 2013 winner Eleanor Catton.
Two independent publishers make it to the shortlist: Oneworld Publications and ONE, an imprint of Pushkin Press. Penguin Random House have two authors on the list (from their Jonathan Cape and Chatto & Windus imprints), as does Picador, an imprint of Pan Macmillan.
Manny Roman, CEO of Man Group, comments:
‘We are very proud to sponsor the Man Booker Prize, recognising the hard work and creativity of these talented authors of all nationalities writing in English. The prize underscores Man Group's charitable focus on literacy and education as well as our commitment to excellence and entrepreneurship. Together with the wider charitable activities of the Man Booker Foundation, the prize plays a very important role in promoting literary excellence that we are honoured to support. Many congratulations to the shortlisted authors.’
The 2015 winner
The 2015 winner will be announced on Tuesday 13 October in London’s Guildhall at a black-tie dinner that brings together the shortlisted authors and well-known figures from the literary world. The ceremony will be broadcast by the BBC.
In the meantime, there will be a number of public events featuring the shortlisted authors, including the Radio Times Festival (Sunday 27 September), Birmingham Literature Festival (Thursday 8 October) and two events at The Times & The Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival (Saturday 10 September).
The traditional Man Booker Prize Readings will take place at the Southbank Centre on the eve of the prize, 12 October, hosted by Mariella Frostrup.
There will be two further events with the winning author: at Stylist LIVE on 15 October and at Apple’s Covent Garden store on 16 October.
A special Man Booker Prize edition of Artsnight will air on BBC Two on Friday 9 October.
The shortlisted authors each receive £2,500 and a specially bound edition of their book. The winner will receive a further £50,000 and can expect international recognition.
Special shortlist podcast this Friday...
The Man Booker Prize Podcast is an exciting audio series that looks at the very best from the world of books. Tune in on iTunes or SoundCloud this Friday for the special shortlist episode of the Man Booker Prize podcast.
Tell us what you think about the 2015 shortlist at @ManBookerPrize