The grandest contest in British literature is about to begin. Whose numbers will rise up this year?
Photograph: Sherry Moore/Alamy
Sports fans still lamenting the end of FIFA’s football fiesta can perhaps console themselves with the opening round of the literary world’s favorite game: posh bingo. The Booker prize will unveil the runners and riders on this year’s longlist as Monday night turns into Tuesday morning.
So who will it be? Jostling this year to fill the slots generally reserved for former winners are Michael Ondaatje – fresh from his Golden Booker triumph – Pat Barker, Peter Carey, Alan Hollinghurst and Julian Barnes. Lining up to feature as American invaders are Anne Tyler, Richard Powers, Rachel Kushner and Madeline Miller, who face off against established home-team names such as Aminatta Forna, Jim Crace, Andrew Miller and Rachel Cusk. And could this be the year that Ali Smith finally gets a Booker prize? Or indeed Kate Atkinson – maybe Transcription will dictate this year’s conclusion.