Thursday, April 01, 2004

The Man Booker Prize--mark your calendars 

The press release has gone out about the confirmed dates for the Booker:

The key dates for this year's Man Booker Prize for Fiction are now confirmed as:


*Tuesday 21 September - SHORTLIST ANNOUNCEMENT

This will be made at a press conference at the Man Group's London office. A celebratory party will be held that evening at the British Library.


To be held in The Lawrence Hall of the Royal Horticultural Halls in London. Coverage of the prize will be broadcast live on BBC TWO and BBC FOUR.

The judging panel this year is chaired by the Rt Hon. Chris Smith MP and consists of novelist, Tibor Fischer; writer and academic, Robert Macfarlane; journalist and editor of The Erotic Review, Rowan Pelling and literary editor of The Economist, Fiammetta Rocco.

The Trustees of the Booker Prize Foundation also announce that they have appointed Ion Trewin as deputy administrator of the Man Booker Prize. Ion will shadow the present administrator, Martyn Goff, in the immediate future and will thereafter take a more active role following his retirement from Weidenfeld & Nicolson in 2006.

All I have to say is, if Eoin McNamee's THE ULTRAS (pub date May 5 in the UK) doesn't at least get on the longlist (and preferably the shortlist) then I'll be scratching my head to the point that it bleeds. It took me a week to read the book, reading about six books in between, because I didn't want it to end. The story haunted, the characters were almost incandescent, the prose never pedestrian and at times jaw-droppingly stunning. There are books, you see, and then there are BOOKS. This is such.

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