If you’ve got the book bug, feast your eyes on these contenders for the coveted £50,000 Man Booker Prize. Here are our mini reviews of each long-listed title, and there's a chance for you to win the lot. 

What is the Man Booker Dozen?

Man Booker Prize 2016

The longlist, also known as the ‘Man Booker Dozen’ features 13 of the best works of fiction by writers of any nationality writing originally in English and published in the UK.

Chair of the 2016 judges, Amanda Foreman, said: "This is a very exciting year. Each novel provoked intense discussion and, at times, passionate debate, challenging our expectations of what a novel is and can be."

"From the historical to the contemporary, the satirical to the polemical, the novels in this list come from both established writers and new voices. It is a longlist to be relished."

Former double winner J.M. Coetzee makes the list with The Schooldays of Jesus. He won the then Booker Prize in 1983 with Life & Times of Michael K and then again with Disgrace in 1999, making him the first writer to win the prize twice.

Four debut novels make the longlist: Hystopia by David Means; The Many by Wyl Menmuir; Eileen by Ottessa Moshfegh and Work Like Any Other by Virginia Reeves. Five UK and five US authors made the cut alongside three Commonwealth authors.

The Booker Prize for Fiction was first awarded in 1969 to P. H. Newby for Something to Answer For (Faber). In 2015 Marlon James won the Booker Prize with A Brief History of Seven Killings (Oneworld).

The shortlist will be announced on Tuesday 13 September and the winner will be announced on Tuesday 25 October.

 

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The titles in the Man Booker Dozen 2016 are:

 

The Sellout

by Paul Beatty (US)

The Sellout Man Booker Prize

A biting satire about a young man’s isolated upbringing and the race trial that sends him to the Supreme Court.

Named one of the best books of 2015 by The New York Times and winner of the 2015 National Book Critics Circle Award in Fiction.

 

The Schooldays of Jesus

by J.M. Coetzee (South African)

schooldays of jesus booker

Haunting sequel to The Childhood of Jesus that continues the journey of David, Simon and Ines.

Described by Joyce Carol Oates as "a Kafka-inspired parable of the quest for meaning itself".

 

Serious Sweet 

by A.L. Kennedy (UK)

Serious Sweet

Poignant, deeply funny, and beautifully written.

Award-winning novelist A. L. Kennedy’s moving love story is about two decent, damaged people trying to make moral choices in an immoral world, ready to sacrifice what’s left of themselves for honesty and for a chance at tenderness. 

 

Hot Milk

by Deborah Levy (UK)

Hot Milk

A profound exploration of the sting of sexuality, of unspoken female rage, of myth and modernity, the lure of hypochondria and big pharma, and, above all, the value of experimenting with life; of being curious, bewildered, and vitally alive to the world.

 

His Bloody Project

by Graeme Macrae Burnet (UK)

his bloody project

A brutal triple murder in a remote Scottish farming community in 1869 leads to the arrest of seventeen-year-old Roderick Macrae.

There is no question that Macrae committed this terrible act. But what would lead such a shy and intelligent boy down this bloody path? And will he hang for his crime?

This thrilling and lurid crime novel will keep you guessing until the very end.

 

The North Water

by Ian McGuire (UK) 

The North Water

Everyone—critics and celebrated writers alike—has been raving about this dark, riveting yarn set aboard 19th-centuryry whaling ship during a harsh winter.

It sets sail for an Arctic expedition… with a killer on board. Bestselling author Colm Toibin describes it as “encounter between Joseph Conrad and Cormac McCarthy”.

           

Hystopia

by David Means (US)

hystopia

Means is best known for his short stories. Hystopia is his first published venture into the long form.

Described by The New York Times as a “dark acid trip of a novel”, this book is as outlandish as it is tender, as funny as it is violent in its exploration of the nature of memory.

 

The Many

by Wyl Menmuir (UK)

The Many Wyl Menmuir Booker Prize

Timothy Buchannan buys an abandoned house on the edge of an isolated village on the coast, sight unseen.

When he sees the state of it he questions the wisdom of his move, but starts to renovate the house for his wife, Lauren to join him there.

An unsettling tale that explores the impact of loss and the devastation.

 

Eileen

by Ottessa Moshfegh (US)

Eileen Booker Prize

A lonely young woman working in a boys’ prison outside Boston in the early 60s is pulled into a very strange crime, in a mordant, harrowing story of obsession and suspense.

Creepy, mesmerising, and sublimely funny, in the tradition of Shirley Jackson and Vladimir Nabokov, this powerful debut novel enthrals and shocks, and introduces a bright new voice in fiction.

 

Work Like Any Other

by Virginia Reeves (US)

Work Line Any Other

From an astonishing new voice, this debut charts the life of Roscoe T Martin, an electrician in 1920s rural Alabama who struggles to overcome past sins, find peace, and rescue his marriage after being sent to prison for manslaughter.

 

My Name Is Lucy Barton

by Elizabeth Strout (US)

My Name is Lucy Barto

Lucy Barton is recovering slowly from what should have been a simple operation. Her mother, who she hasn’t spoken to for many years, comes to see her. 

This simple hospital visit becomes a portal to the tender relationship between mother and daughter in this extraordinary novel by the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Olive Kitteridge.

Read our review of My Name is Lucy Barton

 

All That Man Is

by David Szalay (Canada-UK)

All That Man Is

Nine men. Each of them at a different stage in life. Each of them away from home. And each of them striving, whether in the suburbs of Prague, in an overdeveloped Alpine village, beside a Belgian motorway or in a dingy Cyprus hotel, to understand what it means to be alive, here and now.

Dark, disturbing and wickedly funny.

 

Do Not Say We Have Nothing

by Madeleine Thien (Canada)

do not say we have nothing

Skilled storyteller Madeleine Thien takes us inside an extended family in China, showing us the lives of two successive generations, those who lived through Mao’s Cultural Revolution and their children, who became the students protesting in Tiananmen Square.

At the centre of this intimate and political epic story are two young women, Marie and Ai-Ming.   

 

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