The Lost (1970) Booker Prize Shortlist has been announced. The six books are:
• The Birds on the Trees by Nina Bawden (Virago)
• Troubles by J G Farrell (Phoenix)
• The Bay of Noon by Shirley Hazzard (Virago)
• Fire From Heaven by Mary Renault (Arrow)
• The Driver’s Seat by Muriel Spark (Penguin)
• The Vivisector by Patrick White (Vintage)
So Patrick White is still in the running with The Vivisector. I mused on the irony of his inclusion on the long list because he had refused to be shortlisted for the Booker for The Twyborn Affair in 1979, saying that it should be won by someone young. (The double irony of this is that the winner was Penelope Fitzgerald, who was just four years younger than he was!).
And Shirley Hazard, who was born in Australia, is also still in there with a chance for The Bay of Noon.
There is no role for the judges from here. It is up to the public to vote for their favourite on the Man Booker website.
It will be interesting to see how this democratic experiment works…!