Donoghue on Booker shortlist

 

Irish writer Emma Donoghue has been selected for the 2010 Man Booker Prize shortlist for her novel Room.

However, fellow Irish novelist Paul Murray, who was included on the award's longlist for his book Skippy Dies, has not been chosen.

Other big omissions from this year's shortlist is Cork-based writer David Mitchell's The Thousand Autumns of Zacob de Zoet which was being touted as a possible winner, and the controversial bestseller The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas.

Peter Carey, one of only two authors to have won the Booker twice, has been shortlisted for his novel Parrot and Oliver in America. He previously won in 1988 for Oscar and Lucinda and in 2001 with True History of the Kelly Gang. In 1985, his book Illywhacker was shortlisted for the prize and Theft: A Love Story was longlisted in 2006.

Damon Galgut, who has been included on this year's shortlist for his novel In a Strange Room, was previously shortlisted in 2003 for The Good Doctor.

Howard Jacobson, who has been longlisted twice before for Kalooki Nights in 2006 and for Who’s Sorry Now? in 2002, makes this year's shortlist with The Finkler Question. Other books included in this year's shortlist include Andrea Levy's The Long Song and Tom McCarthy's C.

The panel of judges considered 138 books to select the 13 titles for their longlist, before whittling down the list to the final six novels.

Donoghue is the youngest writer on this year's shortlist. Born in Dublin in 1969, she has written nine novels including Slammerkin and Stirfry.

The writer, who now lives in Canada, has received widespread praise for Room, which Irish Times literary correspondent Eileen Battersby described as "a powerful exploration of the bond between a mother and child."

Ms Donoghue said this afternoon she was "overjoyed" at being included on the shortlist.

“I’m flabbergasted to get on to the shortlist. I thought the book might have been too populist,” she said.

“It’s absolutely fantastic, especially since this is a book with a tricky subject - many people are nervous about reading it. But people have to pluck up the nerve and then they realise that they are safe in my hands. It is a very dark place I lead you into but I also lead you into the light.”

The winner of the Man Booker Prize will be revealed on October 12th.

The winner will receive £50,000 and can look forward to greatly increased sales and worldwide recognition. Each of the six shortlisted authors, including the winner, will receive £2,500 and a designer bound edition of their shortlisted book.

“It's been a great privilege and an exciting challenge for us to reduce our longlist of thirteen to this shortlist of six outstandingly good novels. In doing so, we feel sure we've chosen books which demonstrate a rich variety of styles and themes - while in every case providing deep individual pleasures,” said Man Booker Prize chairman Andrew Motion.

Chaired by  Motion, a former Poet Laureate,  the 2010 judges are Rosie Blau, literary editor of the Financial Times; Deborah Bull, creative director of the Royal Opera House as well as a writer and broadcaster; Tom Sutcliffe, journalist, broadcaster and author and Frances Wilson, biographer and critic.