Books

Arundhati Roy, Mohsin Hamid in Man Booker Longlist

The shortlist will be announced on September 13 and the winner on October 17.

Left: Arundhati Roy. Credit: Wikimedia. Right: Mohsin Hamid. Credit: Twitter

Left: Arundhati Roy. Credit: Wikimedia. Right: Mohsin Hamid. Credit: Twitter

New Delhi: Arundhati Roy has been longlisted for the 2017 Man Booker Prize for her new novel, The Ministry of Utmost Happiness. Roy’s second novel was released in June this year, 20 years after she won the £50,000 (Rs 41 lakh) award for her debut novel, The God of Small Things.

The longlist also includes Mohsin Hamid for his new novel Exit West, a love story set in a world where refugees use wormholes to travel from city to city.

The judging panel also picked writers who have previously been shortlisted for the prize but not won. Ali Smith was chosen for the “humane, zany, delightful, optimistic” post-EU referendum novel Autumn; Zadie Smith was picked for her story of the friendship and rivalry between two London girls who meet at a dance class, Swing Time; Sebastian Barry is in the running with Days Without End, about an Irish man who migrates to the US in the lead-up to the civil war, reported the Guardian.

Last year, Paul Beatty won the Booker for The Sellout, making him the first American to win the prestigious literary prize since it was opened up to US authors in 2014.

This year’s longlist also includes Irish writer Mike McCormack for Solar Bones, Paul Auster for 4321, George Saunders’ first novel Lincoln in the Bardo and Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad. 

As reported by the Guardian, Saunders, Whitehead and Auster will be competing with two new names: Fiona Mozley, from the UK, and American Emily Fridlund, both picked for their debut novels, Elmet and History of Wolves respectively. They are joined by the Impac Dublin award-winning author Jon McGregor and his novel Reservoir 13, about the life of a Peak District village after a 13-year-old girl goes missing on holiday, and Kamila Shamsie’s Home Fire, a modern retelling of Sophocles’s tragedy Antigone that opens in an interrogation room in Heathrow airport.


Also read: The Poetic Realism of Arundhati Roy


This year’s longlist is very diverse. It has four British, four American, two Irish, two British-Pakistani and one Indian writer; seven men and six women; three debuts; and three novels from independent presses.

Literary critic Lola Young, chairwoman of the judging panel, said the list contained works of “huge energy, imagination and variety”, reported the Associated Press. A shortlist of six will be announced on September 13. The winner of the Man Booker Prize will be announced on October 17 in London’s Guildhall.