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Retro Reading Suggestions – the Lost Man Booker Prize

The Man Booker Prize started in 1968. The awards were given to the best books published in the previous calendar year. In 1971, a few significant changes occurred to the rules. The date changed to later in the year, from April to November, and the nominees would be from the current year. The award’s organizers also decided to focus strictly on fiction.

The net result was that a whole host of books published in 1970 never qualified for consideration. The Man Booker Prizes have decided to redress this oversight and award the Lost Man Booker Prize. How exciting!

As 1970 was a banner year for fiction, the longlist is quite large at twenty-two. The shortlist will be whittled down to six and announced in March. We, the international reading public, will be able to vote online.

I was pleased to find that we currently have nine of the specific titles and something by all of the authors in our library collection:

A Little of What You Fancy, by H.E. Bates
A Clubbable Woman, by Reginald Hill
A Domestic Animal, by Francis King
The Fire Dwellers, by Margaret Laurence
A Fairly Honourable Defeat, by Iris Murdoch
Master and Commander, by Patrick O’Brian
Fire From Heaven, by Mary Renault
A Guilty Thing Surprised, by Ruth Rendell
The Driver’s Seat, by Murial Spark

The Hand Reared Boy, by Brian Aldiss
The Birds on the Trees, by Nina Bawden
A Place in England, by Melvyn Bragg
Down All the Days, by Christy Brown
Bomber, by Len Deighton
Troubles, by J.G. Farrell
The Circle, By Elaine Feinstein
The Bay of Noon, by Shirley Hazzard
I’m the King of the Castle, by Susan Hill
Out of the Shelter, by David Lodge
Fireflies, by Shiva Naipaul
Head to Toe, by Joe Orton
The Vivisector, by Patrick White

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