Neck and neck race for Man Booker, too close to call for Arundhati Roy
New Delhi, July 27 (IANS) While Arundhati Roys comeback novel has once again made the cut for the just announced Man Booker Prize longlist, the other books that are running for the 50,000 pound award make it one of the most diverse lists in the race for a literary award in the recent years.
Roy's comeback novel "The Ministry of Utmost Happiness" is the most celebrated book in the list, which also comprises several other literary heavyweights as well as three debutant writers. For the judges, Roy's is "a rich and vital book," but a close look at the longlist reveals that the other contenders for the much coveted prize are on an equal footing.
The judges, according to a Youtube video released by the Prize committee, went through over 150 books in a "relatively short span of time" and were thoroughly impressed by so many unusual and beautiful novels. For author Sarah Hall, a member of the judging panel, it's been "a thrill to sit down and discover them". Another member of the panel, Lila Azam Zanganeh, felt that the longlist clearly reflects the "state of fiction today".
Arundhati Roy's entry into the longlist, despite her rich credentials and having been a past winner, does not yet guarantee the final victory primarily because the judging panel has overlooked new novels by former Booker winners Salman Rushdie and Roddy Doyle. The reason? All other books which have made the cut deserve the place.