A novel by University of Limerick lecturer in creative writing Donal Ryan has been longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2018.
From a Low and Quiet Sea by Donal Ryan (Transworld Ireland, Doubleday Ireland) is one of 13 books selected by a panel of five judges for the £50,000 Man Booker Prize.
According to the judges, “A portrait of three men in one landscape, From A Low and Quiet Sea holds its narratives in perfectly sustained equilibrium, then brings them together without cliché. A deft, unshowy novel about manhood and momentous contingency, it evokes the way in which real lives unfold and wrap around each other.”
This is the second time the Tipperary author has been longlisted for the prestigious prize: His first novel The Spinning Heart was named on the Man Booker Prize longlist in 2013.
“The Man Booker Prize is the most prestigious English language literary prize and to have a novel announced on the longlist is a remarkable achievement. To do so twice, as Donal has, is truly extraordinary," said President of University of Limerick, Dr Des Fitzgerald.
"It is just a year since Donal joined the creative writing programme at UL, led by another acclaimed Irish novelist Professor Joseph O’Connor, and we at UL are extremely proud to have an author of Donal’s calibre amongst our colleagues. We look forward to the announcement of the shortlist in September where we hope Donal’s success will continue,” he continued.
The 2018 judging panel was made up of: philosopher Kwame Anthony Appiah (Chair); crime writer Val McDermid; cultural critic Leo Robson; feminist writer and critic Jacqueline Rose; and artist and graphic novelist Leanne Shapton.
The list was chosen from 171 submissions – the highest number of titles put forward in the prize’s 50 year history – published in the UK and Ireland between October 1, 2017 and September 30, 2018.
The Man Booker Prize for Fiction, first awarded in 1969, is open to writers of any nationality, writing in English and published in the UK and Ireland. This is the first year that novels published in Ireland are eligible for the prize, following a change in rules announced at the start of 2018 that recognised the special relationship between the UK and Irish publishing markets.
Also on the longlist is Mayo writer Sally Rooney for her novel Normal People and Belfast-born Anna Burns for Milkman.
According to chair of the 2018 judging panel, Kwame Anthony Appiah: “Perhaps unsurprisingly, given the times, there were many dystopian fictions on our bookshelf – and many novels we found inspirational as well as disturbing. Some of those we have chosen for this longlist feel urgent and topical, others might have been admired and enjoyed in any year. All of these books – which take in slavery, ecology, missing persons, inner-city violence, young love, prisons, trauma, race – capture something about a world on the brink. Among their many remarkable qualities is a willingness to take risks with form. And we were struck, overall, by their disruptive power: these novels disrupted the way we thought about things we knew about, and made us think about things we didn’t know about. Still, despite what they have in common, every one of these books is wildly distinctive. It’s been an exhilarating journey so far and we’re looking forward to reading them again. But now we’ll have thousands and thousands of people reading along with us.”
The shortlist of six books will be announced on Thursday, September 20. The shortlisted authors each receive £2,500 and a specially bound edition of their book.
The 2018 winner will then be announced on Tuesday, October 16 at a ceremony broadcast by the BBC.
The 2018 longlist, or Man Booker ‘Dozen’, of 13 novels, is:
Author (country/territory) Title (imprint)
Belinda Bauer (UK) Snap (Bantam Press)
Anna Burns (UK) Milkman (Faber & Faber)
Nick Drnaso (USA) Sabrina (Granta Books)
Esi Edugyan (Canada) Washington Black (Serpent’s Tail)
Guy Gunaratne (UK) In Our Mad And Furious City (Tinder Press)
Daisy Johnson (UK) Everything Under (Jonathan Cape)
Rachel Kushner (USA) The Mars Room (Jonathan Cape)
Sophie Mackintosh (UK) The Water Cure (Hamish Hamilton)
Michael Ondaatje (Canada) Warlight (Jonathan Cape)
Richard Powers (USA) The Overstory (William Heinemann)
Robin Robertson (UK) The Long Take (Picador)
Sally Rooney (Ireland) Normal People (Faber & Faber)
Donal Ryan (Ireland) From A Low And Quiet Sea (Doubleday Ireland)