Four Culture announced the longlist for the Man Booker Prize 2018 on 23 July and it fast became the hottest talking point in the book world. With a record number of submissions (171), the judges truly had their work cut out for them, but a strong and incredibly varied list has had more media interest than any other longlist in 50 years of the prize.
Attention focused on the graphic novel on the list by Nick Drnaso, as well as a crime novel by Belinda Bauer. The winner of the Golden Man Booker, Michael Ondaatje, has also made it, as well as four debut authors; Guy Gunaratne, Daisy Johnson, Sophie Mackintosh, and Robin Robertson. Esi Edugyan was previously shortlisted for the prize, and Donal Ryan and Richard Powers have both been longlisted, and they are joined by Anna Burns, Rachel Kushner and Sally Rooney, the latter of whom is among the youngest authors on the list at just 27. An incredible holiday reading list, and one sure to surprise and delight many readers.
July also saw the team organise the flagship events of the Prize’s 50th anniversary celebrations with a reception at Buckingham Palace and Man Booker 50 Festival at Southbank Centre.
The reception at Buckingham Palace was hosted by HRH the Duchess of Cornwall, who has supported the prize for many years. A royal success, the event was covered by media both nationally and internationally. The following day, the team launched Man Booker 50 Festival in partnership with Southbank Centre. Featuring more than 60 speakers, including 17 winners from the prize’s history, the programme of literary debates, readings and masterclasses, the festival brought the celebrations to a close with Golden Man Booker Live and crowned The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje the best work of fiction from the last five decades of the Man Booker Prize as voted for by the public.
A special milestone in the history of the prize, you can relive the celebrations online by listening to the Man Booker 50 Festival green room podcast, watching highlights from the Buckingham Palace reception or challenging yourself to name all Man Booker 50 winners in less than a minute in the Man Booker 50 Song.
If you want to find out more about prize creation and promotion then get in touch with Dotti Irving here.