Sonya’s Picks: The Booker Prize 2008 Six books you shouldn’t miss

It is unfashionable, I know, to be so swayed by the hype of western literary prizes. (Haven’t we been colonial captives long enough ? And we still let a crusty committee in the UK , dictate to us, their system of aesthetics?).
Still, how can one resist the lure of a good Lit shortlist ? So here I am , guilty as charged, caught up , in the excitement of not just the Man Booker Prize, coming in July this year, but also of , the special contest that goes with it.
The Booker is after all, the world’s biggest literary prize, after the Nobel , and the most commercially rewarding. Bizarrely, it doesn’t allow any American writers, but that doesn’t prevent the lit world, each year , from getting into a tizzy about winners and losers. This year, we’re all invited to join the jury too. We get to vote, on the Best book of all from 40 years of Bookers prizewiners.
All we need to do ( besides reading these 6 great books ) is to go online ( by midnight of 8th July, to register our vote. And the 6 books are .

Pat Barker’s The Ghost Road
Peter Carey’s Oscar and Lucinda
JM Coetzee’s Disgrace
JG Farrell’s The Siege of Krishnapur
Nadine Gordimer’s The Conservationist
Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children
Anybody read any ? Any recommendations on any ?

2 thoughts on “Sonya’s Picks: The Booker Prize 2008 Six books you shouldn’t miss

  1. Dear Mr. Kapur-
    This is a bit off topic from your above post, but I would be thrilled to receive some response to this question.
    I am in the process of revising my literary novel (for the fourth time) and my editor and I have been having some “discussions” over the definition of “melodrama.” She thinks some of my scenes, descriptions, observations, etc are “melodramatic” and yet in my mind I am describing very real components of life. I am not writing you to ask who is “right” and who is “wrong” (I know there is no such thing as absolute right or absolute wrong), but you did make a distintion in your audio commentary of “The Golden Age” between mysticism and melodrama (one being a product of the East and the other of the West). I wonder if you might elaborate on this for me. The fascinating thing is that I am Buddhist, and my editor is not, so perhaps this is the key to our differences. Perhaps I am somehow writing an eastern book? The fact that I heard this commentary only recently–just as I started to “put out” this question of “What is Melodrama?” makes me feel as if some answer is being delivered to me. Blessings to you and your family, and namaste.
    Lee Harrington

  2. Dear Mr Kapur,
    Read with interest your views on The Booker. In my humble view none of the best six are even on the above list except perhaps for “Midnight’s Children”, still Mr Rushdie’s best book.
    Also read your article on Hollywood and Asian cinema and as this is my area of interest, I would love to interview you, by email.
    I’m doing an article for salon and also a more complex version for an academic journal.
    Could we chat?

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