Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Twan on Booker Longlist!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Just now I flipped to the Guardian website, saw the news and then just burst into tears.

The Booker Prize longlist was announced last night.

And Tan Twan Eng's Gift of Rain is on there!!!! (How many exclamation marks can I get away with? Remember, this is probably the world's most prestigious literary prize.)

I'm so very happy for him. So very proud of him.

Happy for all of us too and feel like trotting out again that old saw - Malaysia Boleh!!!

Before I get too carried away and glurgacious, Sarah Crowne refers to this year's longlist as being "low-key" with:
... four first-time novelists and a near-total absence of literary stars
And there are only 13 titles this time rather than the 18-24 of previous years.

I am myself very surprised not to see Michael Ondaatje and Graham Swift on there. But McEwan makes it, and the other big name on the list is of course A.N. Wilson.

There is another author of course on the list with a Malaysian connection - Peter Ho Davies who has a Malaysian mum!

Here's the longlist in full:
  • Darkmans by Nicola Barker (Fourth Estate)
  • Self Help by Edward Docx (Picador)
  • The Gift Of Rain by Tan Twan Eng (Myrmidon)
  • The Gathering by Anne Enright (Jonathan Cape)
  • The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid (Hamish Hamilton)
  • The Welsh Girl by Peter Ho Davies (Sceptre)
  • Mister Pip by Lloyd Jones (John Murray)
  • Gifted by Nikita Lalwani (Viking)
  • On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan, (Jonathan Cape)
  • What Was Lost by Catherine O'Flynn (Tindal Street)
  • Consolation by Michael Redhill (William Heinemann)
  • Animal's People by Indra Sinha (Simon & Schuster)
  • Winnie & Wolf by AN Wilson (Hutchinson)
More about this later.

(By the way, sorry I'm a bit of a dozy blogger at the moment, and posting erratically. I've got a lot of work on and am enjoying it, but have less free time than before. Nevertheless, will do my best.)


I like what Deepika wrote. And Asian Literary Review editor, Nury Vittachi, confesses to being "blown away" by one of Twan's short stories ...


animah said...

It's things like this that make me proud to be Malaysian. In fact I was slipping into despair about Merdeka, wanting to hide come month end. But this brings a smile to my face. Congratulations Tan Twan Eng. I hope you make it into the shortlist.
Everyone who reads this blog, let's all visualise Tan winning the Booker, this year.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Sharon and all visitors to her fantastic blog!

Warmest regards,
Tan Twan Eng

Chet said...

Congratulations, Twan Eng!

I knew Peter Ho Davies had a Malaysian connection. I think he's from Penang.

One thing that's cheered me up a bit about Merdeka - that all's not lost, at least not in the Malaysian book scene - is the publication of Chong Kwee Kim's picture book, Ah Fu the Rickshaw Coolie. Chong Kwee Kim, or, is a journalist at The Star in Penang. She'd helped with publicising Kam Raslan's reading at Borders in Penang. I say the book's timely for Merdeka because it reminds us that Malaysia was not made by politicians and other famous figures alone, but also by the ordinary persons everywhere, and Ah Fu is one such person, altho fictitious.

Kim has an interesting account on getting published with Ah Fu on her blog.

Obiter Dictum said...


A happy news has at last come our way.

Lydia Teh said...

Wah!!!!! Malaysia Boleh! Tan Twan Eng lagi boleh!! Here's to hoping he'll win it!!! (Sharon, I've got your exclamaton points bug.)

Ted Mahsun said...

Yay! Am rooting for Twan Tan Eng! Will be ecstatic if he makes it to the shortlist.

lil ms d said...


it's a great way to celebrate merdeka!

(party packs being opened right now!)

bibliobibuli said...

chet - peter ho davies is a coventry boy. don't think he's ever lived here. his dad is welsh. chet yes, congrats to k kim too. haven't seen the book yet but will look out for it.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Sharon's right, Peter hasn't actually lived in Malaysia, but he's visited a number of times, still has relatives in the country, and has written stories set in Malaysia. He was my teacher in grad. school so I'm proud to see his name on the new, abridged longlist, and of course DOUBLY proud that the longlist includes ANOTHER writer with a Malaysian connection. Three cheers for both of them!

-- Preeta

Greenbottle said...

my heartiest congratulation to Mr Tan T E too. it'd be nice if he goes on to win the big one.

and ...the other contender, "the reluctant fundamentalist" - the title sounds v. interesting to me.

bibliobibuli said...

preeta - enjoyed the stories in "the ugliest house in the world" - this novel has been a long time coming!

greenbottle - yes "the reluctant fundamentalist" does sound interesting. i must go on a book buying spree. wonder whether the bookmakers have put up the odds yet? must go and check! they'll probably make the mcewan favourite but i haven't a clue. i'm tempted to put some money on but think i'll have to ask my sis to do it from there

bibliobibuli said...

mcewan is 3-1 favourite according to the telegraph. not surprising as he's a racehorse who has performed stunningly well before. and he is of course the best known author on the list.

s. nizam said...

Congrats Mr. Tan! :-D

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the well-wishes, everyone!
Tan Twan Eng

Chet said...

Sharon -'s book is in MPH One Utama. I took a picture and posted on my blog.

bibliobibuli said...

thanks chet.

Madcap Machinist said...

"glurgacious"! hahaha

congrats tan twan eng! if you get the booker I'm going to hunt you to get my book signed. I was going to anyway...

Chet said...

madcap - he'll be in town for the MPH Breakfast Club in November, and probably the Readings that same weekend.

Anonymous said...

So, is the book good or bad? Haven't read it yet...

kamal s said...

Forgive me, but in my extremely humble opinion, I believe that Pulitzer Prize is THE most prestigious award. Even though some of the winners were rather questionable......Martin Dressler? Mambo Kings? Fable? Optimist's Daughter?.....I believe that most of the books chosen as previous winners were the best books of their time.

Anyway, congratulations Twan Eng! Has he secured any American publishing deal? Can't wait to get a hold of that one.

Amir said...

The Pulitzer is for American writers and The Booker is for writers from Britain and 'the Commonwealth.' Which isn't to say one is better than the other. They are both just functions of empire.

Oh well. I tend not to read living novelists nowadays anyway.

Chet said...

The most prestigious literary award?

Wouldn't that be the Nobel Prize for Literature?

kamal s said...

Hi Amir! How's Dura doing? When is SUSUK coming out? Sorry OT.

How not to OT. Nobel is a recognition to the author, not a particualr work. Therefore in my humble opinion, it is more like a lifetime acheivement award.

Booker for Brits, Pulitzer for Americans. I guess that explained why our dear Malaysians are ga-gaing over Booker winners and nominess than Pulitzer's......I did come across few lit wannabes.

bibliobibuli said...

chet - not really no because there is a v. strong political agenda too and as kamal says it isn't for an individual work.

i think it's sad that there is no single lit award for both brits and americans ...