Some Big Names Noticeably Absent From Booker Shortlist


On September 14 the judges of the 2006 Booker Prize announced a list of six finalists. Noticeably absent from the shortlist are favorites Peter Carey, David Mitchell, and Clare Messud.

The finalists are Kiran Desai for The Inheritance of Loss (Hamish Hamilton); Kate Grenville for The Secret River (Canongate); M. J. Hyland for Carry Me Down (Canongate); Hisham Matar for In the Country of Men (Viking); Edward St. Aubyn for Mother’s Milk (Picador), which was first published in the U.S. last November by the independent press Open City Books; and Sarah Waters for The Night Watch (Virago).

This year’s judges are Simon Armitage, Hermione Lee, Candia McWilliam, Anthony Quinn, and Fiona Shaw.

British oddsmakers, who closely follow the prize, quickly named Sarah Waters as the new favorite. Each finalist will receive £2,500 (approximately $4,700). The annual prize, worth £50,000 (approximately $93,900), is sponsored by the Man Group investment company and is given for the best novel of the year by a citizen of the British Commonwealth or Ireland. The winner will be named on October 10.