I bet you’re wondering who made the cut? Maybe you’re not; maybe you actually have a life or something. I was, personally, quite excited because David Szalay (a very unassuming young man that I’ve had the pleasure of meeting) made it. Aside from him and a few others (Zadie Smith – AGAIN! – maybe it’s about time I dusted off one of her books and actually read them instead of assuming I’ll hate them), my reaction to this list was ‘eh?’ I, genuinely, have no idea who some of these people are, and I have only read books by three writers on this list (Szalay, Benjamin Markovits and Xiaolu Guo). Here’s the list in all its glory….your thoughts??
Most of the commentary since the announcement earlier this evening has been on how diverse the list is, and that, I think is great. To define Britishness is so very difficult these days so I think this list reflects that. Here is an interesting article written by a member of the judging panel, explaining their year-long selection process. Maybe it’s not so bad that I don’t know the majority of the featured novelists, maybe that’s the whole point. When the next list comes out in 2023, I’ll have discovered these writers and they may have earned a space or two on my overcrowded bookshelf.