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I'd write more, like you said I should. If only, there was more to me.

Friday, September 15, 2006


It's out! Someone please pass me the Kleenex! Claire Messud and David Mitchell are not on it! Ok, so 'Black Swan Green' wasn't entirely 'Cloud Atlas' - it wasn't meant to be right. Please tell me didn't anyone find the narration stirring? What about Messud's 'The Emperor's Children'? Sure, the story was about its simplicity itself. Isn't that what got it into the longlist in the first place?

The only saving grace for me was seeing two familiar names i.e. books I've read or am in the process of reading. Hisham Matar's 'In the Country of Men' and Kiran Desai's 'The Inheritance of Loss' have made the cut.

Whether or not they will remain the front runners is quite another story though.

As things stand now, Sarah Waters' 'The Night Watch' - a 1940s tale of heroism and love which narrowly missed out on this year's Orange prize - is tipped at 2-1. A close second is Edward St Aubyn with 'Mother's Milk' at 3-1. St Aubyn's novel is a sequel to his 1990s trilogy, 'Some Hope' that followed the fluctuating fortunes of the privileged, dysfunctional Melrose family.

While some critics and book sellers have dubbed it a "brave shortlist" with a focus on "talent for the future" I'd agree with the Guardian's literary editor, Claire Armitstead who had called the longlist "respectable but not startling".

If you haven't seen it already, here's what you should be reading, if you into the whole awards determine my reading thing:
Kiran Desai - The Inheritance of Loss (Hamish Hamilton)
Kate Grenville - The Secret River (Canongate)
M J Hyland - Carry Me Down (Canongate)
Hisham Matar - In the Country of Men (Viking)
Edward St Aubyn - Mother's Milk (Picador)
Sarah Waters - The Night Watch (Virago)

You have till October 10th to read and figure out, who you think should walk away with the US $94,000 award to be announced at yet another glittering ceremony in London.