The Man Booker Shortlist came out yesterday, September 7, 2010. The list has been shortened from the longlist of thirteen (13) to a shortlist of six (6). This time the brouhaha that always follows a shortlist has been slightly muted as most people agree that all the shortlisted authors deserve to be there. Yes! But The Man Booker Prize, worth 50,000 Pounds, would not be Man Booker without the slightest controversies concerning those who are shortlisted. So the absence of Christos Tsiolkas, the Australian author of The Slap and David Mitchell's The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, has become an issue and it is very well being discussed by literary enthusiasts.
ImageNations interest is in Damon Galgut's In A Strange Room. If Damon's shortlisted book wins the Man Booker Prize he would be the third South African to win the prize, after Nadine Gordimer won with The Conservationist in 1974 and J.M. Coetzee won with Life and Times of Michael K in 1983 and with Disgrace in 1999. He would also be the fourth African to win the Booker Prize, after Ben Okri won the award in 1991 with The Famished Road.
In a Strange Room, voted 7/1 to win the Booker, is a tale of longing and thwarted desire, rage and compassion. The author, Damon Galgut, was born in Pretoria, South Africa, in 1963 and wrote his first novel, A Sinless Season, when he was 17. He was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2003 for The Good Doctor. His other books include Small Circle of Beings, The Beautiful Screaming of Pigs and The Imposter.