The shortlist's out for the new international Man Booker Prize. Eighten heavyweights from 13 counties. 5 of the nobel laureates, two of the Booker winners. Most of 'em I've read at least something by, four I've never heard of (my vast ignorance again, as no doubt Susan will be on hand to remind me!) - but I guess the great value of a prize like this is that it sets you on the trail of new and exciting reading.(Find it most odd, incidentally, that Rushdie is not on this list when Midnight's Children has been voted the Booker of Bookers.)
I would love to see the annual Man Booker prize become an international competition. Would love to see American writers compete on an even playing field and on an ongoing basis with British and Commonwealth writers and works in translation.
So who do you think will win in this competition? I hope it's Doris Lessing, who has written three of my all time favorite books The Grass is Singing, The Good Terrorist and The Golden Notebook. Margaret Atwood would be my second choice.