Man Booker Prize 2016: The winner

Many congratulations to Paul Beatty - the first American winner of the Man Booker Prize.

The winning book, The Sellout, is a poignant satire of US racial politics, set in a little town just outside of Los Angeles.

Amanda Foreman, the chair of this year's judging panel, praised the book, saying “The Sellout is one of those very rare books: which is able to take satire, which is a very difficult subject and not always done well, and plunges it into the heart of contemporary American society with a savage wit of the kind I haven’t seen since Swift or Twain."

This year, we produced accessible versions of the shortlisted books quicker than ever before - we had all shortlisted titles available in braille to coincide with the announcement of the shortlist, and all the books available as Talking Books and in giant print before the announcement of the winner, giving all RNIB customers the opportunity to make their own minds about the nominees before the judges picked their favourite.

 

Listen to Robert Kirkwood interview Paul Beatty on RNIB's Connect Radio (MP3, 8.30MB - media player opens in a new window)

 

The Man Booker Prize winner and shortlist are available from RNIB

 

The Sellout by Paul Beatty

Born in the ‘agrarian ghetto’ of Dickens on the southern outskirts of Los Angeles and raised by a single father, a controversial sociologist, the narrator of The Sellout spent his childhood as the subject in racially charged psychological studies. He is led to believe his father’s pioneering work will result in a memoir that will solve his family's financial woes. But when his father is killed in a police shoot-out, he realises there never was a memoir. All that’s left is the bill for a drive-through funeral.
 
Fuelled by this deceit and the general disrepair of his hometown, the narrator sets out to right another wrong: Dickens has literally been removed from the map to save California from further embarrassment. Enlisting the help of the town’s most famous resident – Hominy Jenkins – he initiates the most outrageous action conceivable: reinstating slavery and segregating the local high school which lands him in the Supreme Court.
 
What follows is a remarkable journey that challenges the sacred tenets of the United States Constitution, urban life, the civil rights movement and the holy grail of racial equality – the black Chinese restaurant. 
 
About the author:
 
Paul Beatty is the author of three novels – Slumberland, Tuff and The White Boy Shuffle – and two books of poetry: Big Bank Take Little Bank and Joker, Joker, Deuce. He is the editor of Hokum: An Anthology of African-American Humor. He lives in New York City.  
 
This book is available in our library as a talking book (TB23462), braille and giant print.
 

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Man Booker Prize 2016 shortlist The Sellout by Paul Beatty

 

 

 

 

Check out the full shortlist, including interviews with all the shortlisted authours:

Man Booker Prize 2016 shortlist Hot Milk by Deborah Levy

 

 

 

 

Hot Milk by Deborah Levy

Two strangers arrive in a small Spanish fishing village. The older woman is suffering from mysterious paralysis, driven to seek a cure beyond the bounds of conventional medicine. Her daughter Sofia has spent years playing the reluctant detective in this mystery, struggling to understand her mother's illness.
 
Surrounded by the oppressive desert heat, searching for a cure to a defiant and quite possibly imagined disease, Sofia is forced to confront her difficult relationship with her mother. Examining female rage and sexuality, Deborah Levy explores the strange and monstrous nature of motherhood, testing the bonds of parent and child to breaking point.
 
About the author:
 
Deborah Levy is a British playwright, novelist and poet. She is the author of five previous novels, Beautiful Mutants (1986); Swallowing Geography (1993); The Unloved (1994); Billy & Girl (1996) and Swimming Home (2011), which was shortlisted for the Man Booker prize 2012 as well as the Jewish Quarterly Wingate Prize. Deborah is also the author of a collection of short stories, Black Vodka (2013), which was shortlisted for the BBC International Short Story Award and the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award.  She has written over 20 plays, including Ophelia and the Great Idea, as well as commissions for the Royal Shakespeare Company and for Radio Four. 
 

Listen to Robert Kirkwood interview Deborah Levy on RNIB's Connect Radio (MP3, 5.26MB - media player opens in a new window)

 
This book is available in our library as a talking book (TB23457), braille and giant print.
 

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His Bloody Project by Graeme Macrae Burnet

In 1869, the case of Roderick Macrae gripped the British public: newspapers slavishly followed his trial, and ‘penny dreadfuls’ gleefully described the gory details of the brutal slaying of three people in a remote crofting community.
 
In His Bloody Project, author Graeme Macrae Burnet recounts the story of the murders and the subsequent trial.
 
Roderick’s memoir, along with court transcripts, medical reports, police statements and newspaper articles, show that the accused readily admitted his guilt…leaving only the persuasive powers of his advocate standing between him and the gallows.
 
So why didn’t he defend himself more vigorously, or try to cover up the crime? Was he stupid? Insane?
 
Or did he have another motive? 
 
Brought together, the documents relating to the case of Roderick Macrae reveal much about a merciless triple-murder that shocked the nation. But do they reveal just why a young man would commit the most atrocious acts of violence?
 
And will he hang?
 
About the author:
 
Graeme Macrae Burnet was a winner of a Scottish Book Trust New Writer Award in 2013. His first first novel, The Disappearance of Adèle Bedeau (Contraband, 2014), was longlisted for the Waverton Good Read Award and was a cult hit. He is currently working on a further two novels featuring Georges Gorski, the haunted detective in Adèle Bedeau.

Listen to Robert Kirkwood interview Graeme Macrae Burnet on RNIB's Connect Radio (MP3, 5.75MB - media player opens in a new window)

 
This book is available in our library as a talking book (TB23483), braille and giant print.
 

Read His Bloody Project in your preferred format

Man Booker Prize 2016 shortlist His Bloody Project by Graeme Macrae Burnet

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Man Booker Prize 2016 shortlist Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeleine Thien

 

 

 

 

 

Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeleine Thien

In Canada in 1991, ten-year-old Marie and her mother invite a guest into their home: a young woman called Ai-Ming, who has fled China in the aftermath of the Tiananmen Square protests. 
 
Ai-Ming tells Marie the story of her family in Revolutionary China - from the crowded teahouses in the first days of Chairman Mao’s ascent to the Shanghai Conservatory in the 1960s and the events leading to the Beijing demonstrations of 1989.  It is a story of revolutionary idealism, music, and silence, in which three musicians - the shy and brilliant composer Sparrow, the violin prodigy Zhuli, and the enigmatic pianist Kai - struggle during China’s relentless Cultural Revolution to remain loyal to one another and to the music they have devoted their lives to.  Forced to re-imagine their artistic and private selves, their fates reverberate through the years, with deep and lasting consequences for Ai-Ming – and for Marie.
 
About the author:
 
Madeleine Thien is the author of the story collection Simple Recipes (2001) and the novels Certainty and Dogs at the Perimeter, which was shortlisted for Berlin’s 2014 International Literary Award and won the Frankfurt Book Fair’s 2015 LiBeraturpreis.  Her books and stories have been translated into 23 languages. Her essays have appears in Granta, the Guardian, the Financial Times, Five Dials, and Brick, and her story ‘The Wedding Cake’ was shortlisted for the 2015 Sunday Times EFT Short Story Award.  The daughter of Malaysian-Chinese immigrants to Canada, she lives in Montreal.
 

Listen to Robert Kirkwood interview Madeleine Thien on RNIB's Connect Radio (MP3, 8.30MB - media player opens in a new window)

 
This book is available in our library as a talking book (TB23451), braille and giant print. 
 

Read Do Not Say We Have Nothing in your preferred format 

 

All That Man Is by David Szalay

Nine men. Each of them at a different stage of life, each of them away from home, and each of them striving – in the suburbs of Prague, beside a Belgian motorway, in a crap Cypriot hotel – to understand just what it means to be alive, here and now.
 
Tracing an arc from the spring of youth to the winter of old age, All That Man Is brings these separate lives together to show us men as they are – ludicrous and inarticulate, shocking and despicable; vital, pitiable, hilarious, and full of heartfelt longing.
 
As the weather gets colder, and the men get older, the stakes become bewilderingly high.
 
About the author:
 
David Szalay is the author of three previous novels: Spring, The Innocent and London and the South-East, for which he was awarded the Betty Trask and Geoffrey Faber Memorial prizes. Raised in London, he has lived in Canada and Belgium, and is now based in Budapest. In 2013 he was named as one of Granta’s Best of Young British Novelists.
 

Listen to Robert Kirkwood interview David Szalay on RNIB's Connect Radio (MP3, 8MB - media player opens in a new window)

 
This book is available in our library as a talking book (TB23456), braille and giant print. 
 

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Man Booker Prize 2016 shortlist All That Man Is by David Szalay

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eileen by Ottessa Moshfegh

The Christmas season offers little cheer for Eileen Dunlop, an unassuming yet disturbed young woman trapped between her role as her alcoholic father’s carer in his squalid home and her day job as a secretary at the boys’ prison, filled with its own quotidian horrors. Consumed by resentment and self-loathing, Eileen tempers her dreary days with perverse fantasies and dreams of escaping to the big city. In the meantime, she fills her nights and weekends with shoplifting, stalking a handsome prison guard named Randy, and cleaning up her increasingly deranged father’s messes. When the beautiful, charismatic Rebecca Saint John arrives on the scene as the new counsellor at the prison, Eileen is enchanted and unable to resist what appears to be a miraculously budding friendship. In a Hitchcockian twist, her affection for Rebecca pulls her into complicity in a crime that surpasses her wildest imaginings. 

About the author:

Ottessa Moshfegh is a fiction writer from New England. Her first book, McGlue, a novella, won the Fence Modern Prize in Prose and the Believer Book Award. Her short stories have been published in The Paris Review, The New Yorker, and Granta, and have earned her a Pushcart Prize, an O. Henry Award, the Plimpton Discovery Prize, and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. Eileen was shortlisted for the National Book Critics Circle Award and won the PEN/Hemingway Award for debut fiction. Moshfegh lives in Los Angeles, California. Her short story collection, Homesick for Another World, is forthcoming from Jonathan Cape next year.

Listen to Robert Kirkwood interview Ottessa Moshfegh on RNIB's Connect Radio (MP3, 8.30MB - media player opens in a new window)

This book is available in our library as a talking book (TB23455), braille and giant print.

Read Eileen in your preferred format

 

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