Two Quick Links

I’m tired tonight, because I was out all evening long. So here’s just some links for today:

At the Book View Café, Shannon Donnelly discusses what makes characters real.

The 2011 Booker Prize shortlist has been announced. The list is definitely interesting. Only one well-known name (Julian Barnes), several unknowns and two debut novelists. What is more, a couple of the shortlisted novels actually sound like something I might like to read. Pigeon English by Stephen Kelman about a young Ghanaian immigrant growing up in a violence and crime-ridden London council estate probably also got a boost by become extremely topical due to the recent riots.

There seems to be some controversy that Alan Hollinghurst did not make the shortlist, but then it’s not as if Hollinghurst doesn’t have a Booker Prize already. Of course, the novel by the one author I have actually met in person (As the only student who had a car, I was hired to pick her up from the hotel and drive her to the university, where she was due to give a reading and a talk to English students) did not make the shortlist either, though no one except me seems bothered.

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3 Responses to Two Quick Links

  1. Rosario says:

    Yes, there are some interesting ones on the shortlist. I’ve got Pigeon English on my pile, ready to start as soon as I finish another one from the longlist, The Last 100 Days (which is beautifully written, but a bit of a slog I’m afraid). A Cupboard Full of Coats is also on that pile. The Barnes is one of the few that don’t really interest me. I listen to several book podcasts and they’re all raving about it, but nothing they say makes me want to pick it up.

    And if the author you refer to is Jane Rogers, then I’m another one who thinks it’s a shame she didn’t make the cut. Her book was the first one that caught my eye out of the longlist, and I really enjoyed it. I posted a review on my blog yesterday.

    • Cora says:

      Both Pigeon English and The Sisters Brothers sound really interesting. Half-Blood Blues as well, though I’m always a bit wary about books set in Germany written by Non-Germans, because I keep noticing errors that throw me out of the story, even though most others probably wouldn’t notice. Though Esi Edugyan does get the fact right that there were black Germans before and during the Third Reich, including at least two jazz musicians, which is something not a lot of people know.

      And yes, I was referring to Jane Rogers whom I ferried across town in my 20-plus-year-old Volkswagen Jetta. I have a signed copy of Promised Lands with a “Thanks for the Ride” dedication that will surely puzzle future collectors, provided we still have book collectors in the e-book dominated future. I haven’t read her latest yet, but I’ll check out your review.

  2. Pingback: Salman Rushdie is being controversial again, the Booker Prize shortlist is too readable and a headline from a parallel universe | Cora Buhlert

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