Arundhati Roy in Man Booker Prize longlist: Here are all the top contenders this year
Arundhati Roy, Mohsin Hamid, Kamila Shamsie and Zadie Smith all stand a great chance to win but HT’s money is on Colson Whitehead’s visceral The Underground Railroad.books Updated: Jul 27, 2017 17:13 IST
This year’s Man Booker prize longlist is full of ambitious works that examine the big questions, the large ideas about love, freedom, death, and the need to transcend our puny mortal selves. Here’s a quick look at the books that have made it to the list. Arundhati Roy, Mohsin Hamid, Kamila Shamsie and Zadie Smith all stand a great chance to win but HT’s money is on Colson Whitehead’s visceral The Underground Railroad.
The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
A work of genius, The Underground Railroad revisits pre-Civil War America and its savagery through the story of Cora, a slave girl, who gets on the train to freedom.
Exit West by Mohsin Hamid
Nadia and Saeed meet as their country collapses into civil war. As the bombs go off, they hear about the doors that can help them escape. The couple find a door to a future where they struggle to hold on to all they know.
The Ministry of Utmost Happiness by Arundhati Roy
Arundhati Roy’s first novel in two decades takes us from old Delhi to Kashmir and into the heart of central India, and introduces us to Anjum, who was once Aftab, and S Tilottama, among others, in this story of hope.
Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie
A retelling of Sophocles’ Antigone featuring two British Muslim families, and set against the backdrop of contemporary London, this is a story of love, of sundered families and of politics.
Days Without End by Sebastian Barry
Set against the American Civil War and the Indian wars against the Sioux and Yurok tribes, Days Without End presents, through the story of two men, a larger picture of America during a particularly grim era.
4321 by Paul Auster
The story of four versions of the protagonist Archie Ferguson’s life, 4321, set in 1950s and 1960s Newark, New Jersey and New York, looks at US politics and the social upheavals of that period.
History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund
When lonely 14-year-old Madeline begins babysitting for the new family in the neighbourhood, she chances on secrets too complicated to comprehend. The choices she makes mark her through her life.
Solar Bones by Mike McCormack
Irish legend has it that the dead may return on All Souls’ Day. Solar Bones is about the return of Marcus Conway. A story of love and loss, it looks at the larger impact of minor decisions.
A young girl goes missing in the hills in England and villagers join the search for her. Set in the early 2000s and spread over 13 years, this is the story of one family’s loss and the impact it has on a community.
Elmet by Fiona Mozley
Daniel and Cathy and their father lived in a wood and foraged for food. But as the locals begin closing in, their lives grow less idyllic. Elmet is about greed, violence and ultimately, about family.
Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders
About Abraham Lincoln and the death of his eleven year old son, Lincoln in the Bardo looks at death, grief and the meaning of life.
Autumn by Ali Smith
The first novel in a quartet, Autumn looks at how we experience Time and at love and ageing.
Swing Time by Zadie Smith
A novel that moves from London to West Africa, Zadie Smith’s latest is about music, friendship, origins, and two girls who dream of being dancers.
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