The Man Booker Prize promotes the finest in fiction by rewarding the very best novel of the year written in English and published in the UK. The prize is the world’s most important literary award and has the power to transform the fortunes of authors and publishers.
To maintain the consistent excellence of the prize, judges are chosen from a wide range of disciplines, including critics, writers and academics, but also poets, politicians and actors, all with a passion for top-quality fiction. This year’s Man Booker Prize is chaired by Michael Wood, and the judges are Ellah Allfrey, John Burnside, Sam Leith and Frances Osborne.
The shortlist will be announced on Tuesday 15 September, and the final winner will be announced Tuesday 13 October.
About the book
Marilynne Robinson, one of the greatest novelists of our time, returns to the town of Gilead in an unforgettable story about a girl who lived on the fringes of society in fear, awe, and wonder.
Lila, homeless and alone after years of roaming the countryside, steps inside a small-town Iowa church – the only available shelter from the rain – and ignites a romance and a debate that will reshape her life. She becomes the wife of a minister and widower, John Ames, and begins a new existence while trying to make sense of the days of suffering that preceded her newfound security.
Neglected as a toddler, Lila was rescued by Doll, a canny young drifter, and brought up by her in a hardscrabble childhood of itinerant work. Together they crafted a life on the run, living hand-to-mouth with nothing but their sisterly bond and a lucky knife to protect them. But despite bouts of petty violence and moments of desperation, their shared life is laced with moments of joy and love. When Lila arrives in Gilead, she struggles to harmonize the life of her makeshift family and their days of hardship with the gentle worldview of her husband which paradoxically judges those she loves.
Revisiting the beloved characters and setting of Pulitzer Prize-winning Gilead and Orange Prize-winning Home, Lila is a moving expression of the mysteries of existence. You can read the first chapter here.
The full 2015 longlist is:
Author (nationality) – Title (imprint)