Jewish authors selected for Man Booker longlist

Jewish authors selected for Man Booker longlist

Deborah Levy and David Szalay’ are the two British Jewish authors on the longlist for this year’s prize

Francine Wolfisz is the Features Editor for Jewish News.

The two Jewish hopefuls with their titles
The two Jewish hopefuls with their titles

Two British-Jewish authors have made it onto the longlist of this year’s Man Booker Prize.

Deborah Levy’s Hot Milk revolves around a troubled bond between a mother and her daughter, while David Szalay’s All That Man Is tells the stories of nine male protagonists at various stages of their lives.

The pair are up against author JM Coetzee, who could become the first triple winner of the Man Booker Prize after being longlisted for his new novel The Schooldays of Jesus.

Only three writers – Australian Peter Carey, Wolf Hall author Hilary Mantel and South African-born Coetzee – have won the famous literacy prize twice.

The longlist features four debut novels, including The Many by British writer Wyl Menmuir, a Stockport-born freelance editor who lives on the north coast of Cornwall.

The other three debuts are by US authors David Means, Ottessa Moshfegh and Virginia Reeves.

A crime story, by Scottish writer Graeme Macrae Burnet, also makes this year’s longlist in the form of His Bloody Project, a memoir exploring the life of a 19th century crofter.

The author recounts the murders, in 1869, of three people in a remote crofting community and the subsequent trial of 17-year-old Roderick Macrae, one of the writer’s ancestors.

The book, released by a newcomer on the publishing scene, Contraband, features the teenager’s memoir, along with court transcripts, medical reports, police statements and newspaper articles.


The longlist also features Scottish writer AL Kennedy for Serious Sweet, a novel set in a single day and British author Ian McGuire for The North Water.

Ian McEwan had been tipped to make the longlist for his new work, Nutshell, told from inside a mother’s womb, but the author is absent this year.

First awarded in 1969, the Man Booker Prize for Fiction is open to writers of any nationality, writing originally in English and published in the UK.

Chair of the judges Amanda Foreman said: “This is a very exciting year. The range of books is broad and the quality extremely high. Each novel provoked intense discussion and, at times, passionate debate, challenging our expectations of what a novel is and can be.

“From the historical to the contemporary, the satirical to the polemical, the novels in this list come from both established writers and new voices. The writing is uniformly fresh, energetic and important.”

The shortlist of six books will be announced on September 13, and the winner on October 25.

The Longlist in full:

Paul Beatty, The Sellout

JM Coetzee, The Schooldays of Jesus

AL Kennedy, Serious Sweet

Deborah Levy, Hot Milk

Graeme Macrae Burnet, His Bloody Project

Ian McGuire, The North Water

David Means, Hystopia

Wyl Menmuir, The Many

Ottessa Moshfegh, Eileen

Virginia Reeves, Work Like Any Other

Elizabeth Strout, My Name Is Lucy Barton

David Szalay, All That Man Is

Madeleine Thien, Do Not Say We Have Nothing

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