The Best of the Best

25th August 2017

It’s Man Booker time again. Arguably the most prestigious of all literary prizes, it’s a celebration of exceptional fiction, with the judges charged only to find the ‘best novel of the year.’ Editor Jill Glenn and Assistant Editor Lisa Botwright will be posting their thoughts on the 13 Longlisted titles online; reviews of the six Shortlisted books will be in our 23 September issue… Why not read along?

Archibald Isaac Ferguson, born in New Jersey in 1947, leads four lives in mid-20th century America: four simultaneous and independent fictional paths diverge from one beginning.

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Love and war in the American West: Irishman Thomas McNulty and New Englander John Cole fight together and leave the army together, making a new family with a young Indian girl.

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Linda, 14, is lonely and isolated until the arrival of new neighbours. But the family’s misguided reason for moving to the wilderness becomes central to the shocking outcome of the story.

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Saeed and Nadia are in love. They try to ignore the sound of the bombs falling and the danger closing in on them, until eventually it’s impossible. Is it time to flee their beloved city?

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Marcus stands in his kitchen and considers, with his engineer’s mind, how things – bridges, banking systems, marriages – are constructed… and how they may come apart.

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Life in this quiet English village goes on, despite an anxious search for a missing teenager. There are births and deaths; secrets to be kept or exposed, and livelihoods to be made or lost.

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Teenage siblings Daniel and Cathy live with their father in a house in the woods. Everything is precarious; the family wants a quiet life, but the land they live on isn’t theirs…

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Roy’s second novel makes the Longlist 20 years after winning the award with her first. She dissects life in India in the wake of Partition, through the eyes of a cast of unforgettable characters.

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Young Willie Lincoln is in limbo between the dead and the living – and his grieving father, Abraham, is unwittingly stopping him from moving on. Haunting conversations ensure…

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After years spent raising her twin siblings following their mother’s death, Isma is finally free to study in the US. But she can’t shake off her fears for the headstrong pair she’s left back home.

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The first of a seasonal quartet, this is a meditation on a world growing ever more bordered and exclusive, and a United Kingdom divided by a historic once-in-a-generation summer.

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Set in London, New York and West Africa, this is a story of an intense friendship between two young girls who dream of being dancers – and the life-defining choices they make.

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Cora is a slave on a cotton plantation enduring unimaginable cruelty. When she hears rumours of an Underground Railroad, she makes the perilous decision to escape to the North.

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