I don’t get too excited by longlists, but both the Miles Franklin and The Orange Prize for Fiction longlists have been announced, and already there are interesting ‘clash of the titans’-type billings in each.
In the Miles Franklin, heavy-weights Peter Carey and Thomas Keneally lead the list, with some other notable inclusions such as Alex Miller:
Lovesong by Alex Miller (Allen & Unwin)
The Bath Fugues by Brian Castro (Giramondo Publishing)
Jasper Jones by Craig Silvey (Allen & Unwin)
Sons of the Rumour by David Foster (Picador)
The Book of Emmett by Deborah Forster (Vintage)
Siddon Rock by Glenda Guest (Vintage)
Boy on a Wire by Jon Doust (Fremantle Press)
Figurehead by Patrick Allington (Black Inc.)
Parrot and Olivier in America by Peter Carey (Hamish Hamilton)
Truth by Peter Temple (Text Publishing)
Butterfly by Sonya Hartnett (Penguin)
The People’s Train by Thomas Keneally (Knopf)
In the Orange Prize, will it be another shootout between Mantel’s Wolf Hall and Waters’ The Little Stranger? Or will someone else surprise? I know a couple of people who will be cheering Waters on that’s for sure.
Also, I read a very interesting article by Daisy Goodwin, one of the Orange judges for this year who, after reading 129 entries(!!) has pleaded with authors and publishers to ‘spare us the misery’ and asks the question: where is all the humour? I couldn’t agree more! It seems the misery memoir just won’t die.
The longlist is:
Clare Clark, Savage Lands
Amanda Craig, Hearts and Minds
Roopa Farooki, The Way Things Look to Me
Rebecca Gowers, The Twisted Heart
M.J. Hyland, This is How
Sadie Jones, Small Wars
Barbara Kingsolver, The Lacuna
Laila Lalami, Secret Son
Andrea Levy, The Long Song
Attica Locke, Black Water Rising
Hilary Mantel, Wolf Hall
Maria McCann, The Wilding
Nadifa Mohamed, Black Mamba Boy
Lorrie Moore, A Gate at the Stairs
Monique Roffey, The White Woman on the Green Bicycle
Amy Sackville, The Still Point
Kathryn Stockett, The Help
Sarah Waters, The Little Stranger
Now that is a long list!
Also, continuing her remarkable run of success, Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall has won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction in the US.