If you've read any of the press surrounding this year's prize, you'll know that it is quite a diverse and thrilling line-up. It's hard to pick an over-riding theme to the choices. We've a thriller, a romance, historical novels, contemporary-set novels, from a mere 100 pages to a 1,000. Good lucking picking a winner from this lot, I say.
So who are the runners and riders. Well, this is who:
- Tash Aw - Five Star Billionaire
- NoViolet Bulawayo - We Need New Names
- Eleanor Catton - The Luminaries
- Jim Crace - Harvest
- Eve Harris - The Marrying of Chain Kaufman
- Richard House - The Kills
- Jhumpa Lahiri - The Lowland
- Alison MacLeod - Unexploded
- Colum McCann - Transatlantic
- Charlotte Mendelson - Almost English
- Ruth Ozeki - A Tale for the Time Being
- Donal Ryan - The Spinning Heart
- Colm Toibin - The Testament of Mary
This year I'd read one of the novels before the longlist was announced: Donal Ryan's The Spinning Heart, and I'd already felt it to be one of the strongest debuts I'd read in some time, so I'm glad to see it getting a nod. Tash Aw, Colm Toibin and Eleanor Catton I've read before too, and are all excellent novelists. I'm excited to be discovering these other, exciting voices.
Over the next few weeks, leading up to the revealing of the shortlist on the 10 September, I shall endeavour to read and review each of these novels. Join me if you like - I can guarantee it won't be a summer wasted.