Barry included on Booker longlist

Tue, Jul 26, 2011, 01:00

Irish author Sebastian Barry has been included on this year’s Man Booker Prize longlist for his latest novel, On Canaan’s Side.

Told in the first person, Barry’s seventh novel centres on the grief-stricken Lilly Bere and her attempt to come to terms with the death of her grandson and her forced emigration to America from Ireland at the end of the first World War.

Barry was shortlisted for the prestigious award in 2005 for his novel A Long Long Way, and again in 2008 for his book The Secret Scripture, which won the Costa Book of the Year award.

He is joined on the 13-strong list by two British literary heavyweights in the form of Julien Barnes for The Sense of an Ending and former winner Alan Hollinghurst for The Stranger’s Child.

Barnes has been shortlisted for the £50,000 prize on three previous occasions - in 1984 for Flaubert's Parrot, in 1998 for England, England and again in 2005 for Arthur and George. Hollinghurst won the prize in 2004 for his novel The Line of Beauty.

Carol Birch, longlisted in 2003, is also on this year's longlist for her book Jamrach’s Menagerie.

Other nominees for the prize include Patrick deWitt for The Sisters Brothers, Esi Edugyan for Half Blood Blues, Alison Pick for Far to Go, Jane Rogers with The Testament of Jessie Lamb and DJ Taylor's Derby Day.

The list also includes four first-time novelists: Stephen Kelman for Pigeon English, AD Miller for Snowdrops, Yvvette Edwards for A Cupboard Full of Coats and Patrick McGuinness for The Last Hundred Days.

A shortlist of six authors will be announced on September 6th, with the winner being announced on October 18th. As well as a boost in book sales, the winner will receive £50,000 (€56,500) and each of the six shortlisted authors, including the winner, will receive £2,500 and a bound edition of their book.

The chair of judges, Dame Stella Rimington, said: "We are delighted by the quality and breadth of our longlist, which emerged from an impassioned discussion.

"The list ranges from the Wild West to multi-ethnic London via post-Cold War Moscow and Bucharest, and includes four first novels,” she added.

The judges for the 2011 prize also comprise writer and journalist, Matthew d'Ancona; author Susan Hill; author and politician Chris Mullin; and head of books at the Daily Telegraph Gaby Wood.