Shortlist Summaries

The Sellout
Published by Oneworld

The Sellout book coverBorn in the ‘agrarian ghetto’ of Dickens on the southern outskirts of Los Angeles and raised by a single father, a controversial sociologist, the narrator of The Sellout spent his childhood as the subject in racially charged psychological studies. He is led to believe his father’s pioneering work will result in a memoir that will solve his family’s financial woes. But when his father is killed in a police shoot-out, he realises there never was a memoir. All that’s left is the bill for a drive-through funeral.

Fuelled by this deceit and the general disrepair of his hometown, the narrator sets out to right another wrong: Dickens has literally been removed from the map to save California from further embarrassment. Enlisting the help of the town’s most famous resident – Hominy Jenkins – he initiates the most outrageous action conceivable: reinstating slavery and segregating the local high school which lands him in the Supreme Court.

What follows is a remarkable journey that challenges the sacred tenets of the United States Constitution, urban life, the civil rights movement and the holy grail of racial equality—the black Chinese restaurant.

About the Author

About the Author

About the Author

Paul Beatty

Paul Beatty PhotoPaul Beatty is the author of three novels—Slumberland, Tuff and The White Boy Shuffle—and two books of poetry: Big Bank Take Little Bank and Joker, Joker, Deuce. He is the editor of Hokum: An Anthology of African-American Humor. He lives in New York City.


Hot Milk
Published by Hamish Hamilton

Hot Milk book coverTwo strangers arrive in a small Spanish fishing village. The older woman is suffering from mysterious paralysis, driven to seek a cure beyond the bounds of conventional medicine. Her daughter Sofia has spent years playing the reluctant detective in this mystery, struggling to understand her mother’s illness.

Surrounded by the oppressive desert heat, searching for a cure to a defiant and quite possibly imagined disease, Sofia is forced to confront her difficult relationship with her mother. Examining female rage and sexuality, Deborah Levy explores the strange and monstrous nature of motherhood, testing the bonds of parent and child to breaking point.

About the Author

About the Author

About the Author

Deborah Levy

Deborah Levy photoDeborah Levy is a British playwright, novelist and poet. She is the author of five previous novels, Beautiful Mutants (1986); Swallowing Geography (1993); The Unloved (1994); Billy & Girl (1996) and Swimming Home (2011), which was shortlisted for the Man Booker prize 2012 as well as the Jewish Quarterly Wingate Prize. Deborah is also the author of a collection of short stories, Black Vodka (2013), which was shortlisted for the BBC International Short Story Award and the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award. She has written over 20 plays, including Ophelia and the Great Idea, as well as commissions for the Royal Shakespeare Company and for Radio Four.


His Bloody Project
Published by Contraband

His Bloody Project book coverIn 1869, the case of Roderick Macrae gripped the British public: newspapers slavishly followed his trial, and ‘penny dreadfuls’ gleefully described the gory details of the brutal slaying of three people in a remote crofting community.

In His Bloody Project, author Graeme Macrae Burnet recounts the story of the murders and the subsequent trial.

Roderick’s memoir, along with court transcripts, medical reports, police statements and newspaper articles, show that the accused readily admitted his guilt…leaving only the persuasive powers of his advocate standing between him and the gallows.

So why didn’t he defend himself more vigorously, or try to cover up the crime? Was he stupid? Insane?

Or did he have another motive?

Brought together, the documents relating to the case of Roderick Macrae reveal much about a merciless triple-murder that shocked the nation. But do they reveal just why a young man would commit the most atrocious acts of violence?

And will he hang?

About the Author

About the Author

About the Author

Graeme Macrae Burnet

Graeme Macrae Burnet photoGraeme Macrae Burnet was a winner of a Scottish Book Trust New Writer Award in 2013. His first first novel, The Disappearance of Adèle Bedeau (Contraband, 2014), was longlisted for the Waverton Good Read Award and was a cult hit. He is currently working on a further two novels featuring Georges Gorski, the haunted detective in Adèle Bedeau

SOURCE:
themanbookerprize.com

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