The recent news regarding the Man Booker Prize Longlist 2017 has got the literary world excited. The prize is one of the most prestigious ones in the literary world and the prize money a huge 50,000 GBP.
Three Indians have previously won the prestigious award – Arundhati Roy for her debut novel The God of Small Things in 1997, Kiran Desai for The Inheritance of Loss in 2006, and Aravind Adiga for The White Tiger in 2008. This year once again, after a dramatic gap of 20 years Arundhati Roy is back with her 2nd novel, The Ministry of Utmost Happiness which just like her debut novel has been longlisted for the Man Booker Prize.
Along with Arundhati’s latest, there are 12 other contenders out of which the shortlist will be announced on 13th September 2017 and the final winner on 17th October 2017. In this article, I tell you about each of these thirteen longlisted novels and their general availability in India.
|4321 by Paul Auster |
This 880-page long novel traces the story of a boy Isaac Fergusson who is born in New Jersey in 1947. The boy’s journey in life from the moment of his birth takes four fictional paths which have been written by the author as alternate reality (or rather in this case alternate fiction). Written with extraordinary finesse, this book is said to be one of Paul Auster’s best yet.
Availability in India - Though the International hardcover edition of this book is priced at an exorbitant INR 1035/- on Amazon.in, a cheaper hardcover edition is available for INR 799/- which still is not very easy on the pocket. The Kindle edition is priced at INR 324.5/-
|Days without End by Sebastian Barry|
This 320-page long book is a historical fiction novel which is set in the 1850s America. The book has previously won many prestigious awards including the 2016 Costa Book of the Year and Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction 2017.
It tells the story of two brothers-in-arms, John Cole and Thomas Mcnulty who having fought in the Indian War and the Civil War have seen a lot. Their life has been a mix of wonder and horror but all that is set to change when they come across an Indian girl who promises a better future but will they survive to live it.
Availability in India – Days without End is available in two paperback editions in India priced at INR 1056/- and INR 476/- each. The Kindle version is priced at INR 324/-
|History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund |
The book traces the story of a fourteen-year-old girl Linda who lives with her parents in an ex-commune near a lake in Minnesota. She is often called a freak at school and even her parents aren’t much for a company. Lonely, she seeks solace in the company of a new family which moves in a cabin across the lake. On the outset, they seem like a perfect family – a mother, a father and their son. However, things are not as simple as they seem, there is more to it than meets the eye and Linda is soon entangled in their secrets and things which she cannot understand. What will happen to Linda then?
Availability in India – The hardcover edition of the book is available in India for INR 829/-. A cheaper paperback edition is also available for pre-orders at INR 524/-
|Exit West by Mohsin Hamid |
This 240-page-long book tells us the story of two individuals Saeed and Nadia, who are falling in love with each other while their worlds are falling apart. Their home is now scarred by Civil war and they are no longer safe there. They will have to leave and the sooner the better.
Availability in India – The Hardcover edition is available for a reasonable INR 390/-
|Solar Bones by Mike McCormack |
Mike Mckormak’s 223-page-long novel explores an Irish myth. It is said that on All Soul’s Day every year, the dead can return to the land of the living. In Solar Bones, McCormack pens An extraordinary tale of one such return.
Availability in India – The hardcover is priced at an exorbitant INR 1685/- while the paperback is available for INR 757/- onwards on Amazon.in. The Kindle edition is available at INR 339/-
|Reservoir 13 by Jon McGregor |
This 336-page-long book tells us the story of a young teenage girl who goes missing in the heart of England at the beginning of this century. Over the course of next 13 years how her mystery impacts and haunts the lives of those who surround her is what the story tells us.
Availability in India – The Hardcover is priced at INR 1285/- while the paperback is available at INR 376/-. The Kindle edition is available for sale at INR 276/-
|Elmet by Fiona Mozley |
This 320-page novel tells us the story of Daniel who is soon going to leave home. There was a time when he was happy in his small little world with Daddy and Cathy. But of late, his Daddy has turned mysterious, he would be gone for long and when he would return, his eyes will be full of rage. As the days go by, even the local men start acting weird and Daddy grows ever more violent.
Availability in India – The paperback is available for pre-order at INR 524/- The Kindle edition is available for sale at INR 297/-
|The Ministry of Utmost Happiness by Arundhati Roy|
The 464-page long book tells a story of love and remorse. The story spans across hundreds of kilometres and takes us from the dusty lanes of Old Delhi to the conflict-torn Kashmir to the beautiful jungles of Central India. Anjum who once was Aftab, now calls the city graveyard her home. One day a baby appears at her doorstep. S Tilottama is equally present as she is absent in the lives of the three men who love her.
Availability in India – The Hardcover is available at INR 299/- The Kindle edition is available for sale at INR 108/-
|Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders |
This 368-page-long novel takes you back in time to the days of the American Civil War and Abraham Lincoln. President Lincoln’s son was gravely ill and has just been put to rest in a nearby cemetery. The novel that unfolds in a single night takes us into the world of the supernatural wherein Lincoln enters an otherworld called Bardo and a struggle starts over the soul of his poor son.
Availability in India – The Hardcover is available for pre-order at INR 1235/- while the paperback is priced at INR 454/- The Kindle edition is available for sale at INR 244/-
|Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie |
This 272-page-long novel tells us a dark tale of love and politics and what happens when love clashes with politics. Isam is an ambitious girl who fulfils her dream of studying in America, but she can’t stop worrying about her beautiful but adamant younger sister Aneeka or her brother, Parvaiz who has been treading on the wrong path recently. In between this, she comes across Eamonn whose life is remarkedly different from hers. As Eamonn’s world collides with hers, a compelling story is unveiled.
Availability in India – The Hardcover is available for pre-order at INR 459/-. The Kindle edition is available for sale at INR 244/-
|Autumn by Ali Smith|
The 272-page-long novel is a story of both hope and hopelessness, of love found and love lost. It captures the essence of a once in a lifetime autumn and the news it brings to the people whose lives it will impact whether it is a century old Daniel or a 30-something Elisabeth.
Availability in India – The Hardcover is available for INR 805/- while the paperback is priced at INR 472/-. The Kindle edition is available for sale at INR 415/-
|Swing Time by Zadie Smith |
This 464-page-long novel is a beautiful story of friendship and identity and music. It tells the tale of two brown girls who both want to be dancers and decide to travel from London to West Africa. But only one of them is really talented. Their friendship which till now has stood the test of time will soon be marred but it will stay with them forever.
Availability in India – The Hardcover is available for INR 1211/- while the paperback is priced at INR 427/- The Kindle edition is available for sale at INR 300/-
|The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead|
This deeply moving 432-page-long book tells us the story of Cora who works on a cotton plantation in Georgia. Life isn’t easy for her and hence when she meets Caesar who tells her about an underground railroad, she soon plans to escape. But nothing goes as planned and soon they are being hunted.
Availability in India – The Hardcover is available for INR 1058/- plus INR 400/- as delivery charges while the paperback is priced at INR 824/- plus INR 400/- as delivery charges. The audiobook is available for sale at INR 1428/-
Note – All the prices mentioned have been taken from Amazon.in
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