We are inching towards Booker time again, signalled by the publication of the nominations for the prize. Some have commented that expected and familiar names are missing from the list, but it is an interestingly multi-national affair. There are, though, four Irish writers up for the prize: Sebastian Barry, Elaine Feeney, Paul Lynch and Paul Murray. They sit alongside Scot Martin MacInnes, Malaysian Tan Twan Eng, Nigerian Ayòbámi Adébáyò, Canadian Sarah Bernstein, English writers Chetna Maroo and Viktoria Lloyd-Barlow, Welsh poet Siân Hughes and Americans Paul Harding and Jonathan Escoffery. The various novels include historical examination and dystopian consideration of the future, reflections of contemporary society, focus on teenagers, children and mothers.
These thirteen will be whittled down to a shortlist before the winner is eventually announced, but the longlist gives a snapshot of what is exciting in contemporary international writing in English , so is a good place to start if you want to explore. Read more about the books here.
Stories from South Korea
South Korean writer Cho Nam-joo is not on the list, but the writer of Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982 has just published a book of short stories. The eight tales in Miss Kim Knows and Other Stories stand alone but are also linked, exploring the position of women in Korea at all ages – the youngest 10, the oldest narrator 80. Deft and thoughtful, they deal with gender issues with sensitivity and humour.
Reading and Writing Poetry
Do you write poetry? Have you written a poem this year for which you would like an audience? The Poetry Archive has opened its competition Poetry Archive Now! Wordview 2023. All you have to do is submit a film of yourself reading your poem, which should be no more than two minutes long. Go on – have a go! Here’s the link.