The Man Booker Prize 2014
Polly Docherty | 20 March 2017

The Man Booker 2014 shortlist was revealed on Tuesday 9th September to tremendous anticipation. The names, which were released at a press conference by the chair of judges, include authors from Australia, Britain and the United States. The list was praised by the judges for its “depth and range”. The shortlist of six was taken from the long list of thirteen released on Wednesday 23rd July.

 

 

The 2014 shortlist consisted of:

 

 

Joshua Ferris (US) – To Rise Again at a Decent Hour

 

Centered on Paul O’Rourke, a man ruled by contradictions. When someone begins to impersonate Paul online, he is forced to confront his troubled past as online ‘Paul’ threatens to become a better version of the real thing. Ferris’s novel focuses on the split between both the real and the virtual life.

 

 

Richard Flanagan (Australian) – The Narrow Road to the Deep North

 

Flanagan’s story takes place in the early 20th century, where Dorrigo Evans, an Australian doctor is haunted constantly by the impossibilities of love and the constant cruelty of war. The reader waits with bated breath as the love story unfolds on the page.

 

 

Karen Joy Fowler (US) – We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves

 

The story surrounds the Cooke family. Our narrator is Rosemary Cooke, who, as a child never stopped talking, but as a young woman lives under a layer of silence. The family has become a shell of what it once was. What will be the family’s fate?

 

 

Howard Jacobson (British) – J

 

Set in the future, J tells the story of a past so dangerous that to talk about it is forbidden. Brutality is now commonplace, and suspicion is constant. The characters lives are forever shrouded in a catastrophe of the past. Jacobson tells the reader the story of love, denial and mystery.

 

 

Neel Mukherjee (British) – The Lives of Others

 

Mukherjee’s novel tells the story of a family and a nation. The family history of the Ghosh family unfolds throughout this novel, a family so wrapped in deceit, hate and politics; it faces destruction from within its very core. The Ghosh home questions the limits of empathy as it further decays into rivalries and secrets. The novel reflects social unrest brewing in Indian Society.

 

 

Ali Smith (British) – How to be Both

 

The novel focuses on art’s versatility, with a renaissance artist of the 1460s and a child of the 1960s. Smith twists two tales of love until time becomes meaningless and structure is playful, as life is given a second chance.

 

 

On Tuesday 14th October Richard Flanagan – ‘The Narrow Road to the Deep North’, published by Chatto & Windus, was announced as the winner of the Man Booker Prize 2014.

 

James Routledge 2016