Man Booker Prize 2018 voor Anna Burns

Man Booker Prize voor Anna Burns

De Man Booker Prize, de belangrijkste prijs voor Engelstalige literatuur, gaat dit jaar naar de Noord-Ierse schrijfster Anna Burns. Ze krijgt de onderscheiding voor haar roman “Milkman”, die speelt in het Noord-Ierland van de jaren 70. Zie ook alle tags voor Anna Burns op dit blog.

Uit: Milkman

“Third time of the millanan was when he appeared not long after my adult evening French class. This dass was downtown and it had surprising things. Often these would not be French things. Often too, there would be more of Litern than would be the French things. At this latest lesson, which took place on Wednes-day evening, teacher was reading from a book. This was a French book, a proper French book — one that native speakers cottld read without considering it beneath them — and wacher said she was reading from it to get us used to what authentic French sounded like when strung together in Full-on passages — in this rase, a lit-erary passage. Thing was though, the sky in this passage she was reading from wasn’t blue. Eventually she got interrupted because someone in the dass — spokesperson for the test of us — naturally couldn’t stand it. Something was wrong and he had a need, for the sake of all things generic, to point it out. ‘1’m confused,’ he said. ‘1s that passage akut the sky? lf it is about the sky then why doesn’t the writer just say so? Why is he complicating things with fang footwork when all he need say is that the sky is blue?’ ‘Hear! Hear!’ cried us oti if some of us, like me, didn’t cry it, certainly we agreed in sentiment. ‘Le ciel est bleu! Le ciel est bleu!’ shouted many of the others. ‘That would have deared matten. Why didn’t he just put that?’ We were disturbed, and not a little, but wacher, she laughed which was something she did a lot. She did this because she had an unnerving amount of humour — another thing which ruffled us as well. Whenever she laughed, we weren’t sure whether to laugh along with her to be curious and engaged and to ask why she was laughing, or to be sulky and offended and seriously up in ums. This time, as usual, we opted for up in arms. ‘What a waste of time and a confusion of subjects; complained a woman. ‘That writer ought not to be featuring in a French lesson even if he is French if he’s not doing anything about teaching it. This is”learning a foreign language” dass, not a dass on burdening us with taking things apart which are in the saure language to find out if they’re a poem or something. If we wanted figttres of speech and rhetorical flourishes, with one thing representing another thing when the represented thing could easily have been itself in the first place, then we’d have gone to English Literature with Chose weirdos down the hall.”Yeah!’ cried us and also we cried, ‘A spade’s a spade!’, also the popular ‘JA ciel est Neurand ‘What’s ihe point? There’s no point!’ continued to come out of us. Everyone was nodding and slapping desks and murmuring and acclaiming. And now it was time, we thought, to give our spokespeople and ourselves a jolly good round of applause. ‘So, dass,’ said wacher after this applause had diel down, ‘is it that you think the sky can only be blue?’ The sky is blue,’ warne us. ‘What colour eise can it be?’

Anna Burns (Belfast, 1962)

Man Booker Prize 2017 voor George Saunders

Man Booker Prize 2017 voor George Saunders

De Man Booker Prize voor de beste Engelstalige roman is dit jaar toegekend George Saunders voor zijn roman “Lincoln in the Bardo”. George Saunders werd geboren op 2 december 1958 in Chicago. Zie ook alle tags voor George Saunders op dit blog en ook mijn blog van 2 december 2009.

Uit: Lincoln in the Bardo

“Mouth at the worm’s ear, Father said:
We have loved each other well, dear Willie, but now, for reasons we cannot understand, that bond has been broken.
But our bond can never be broken. As long as I live, you will always be with me, child.
Then let out a sob
Dear Father crying    That was hard to see    And no matter how I patted & kissed & made to console, it did no
You were a joy, he said. Please know that. Know that you were a joy. To us. Every minute, every season, you were a—you did a good job. A good job of being a pleasure to know.
Saying all this to the worm!    How I wished him to say it to me    And to feel his eyes on me    So I thought, all right, by Jim, I will get him to see me And in I went It was no bother at all    Say, it felt all right   Like I somewhat belonged in
In there, held so tight, I was now partly also in Father
And could know exactly what he was
Could feel the way his long legs lay     How it is to have a beard      Taste coffee in the mouth and, though not thinking in words exactly, knew that
the feel of him in my arms has done me good. It has. Is this wrong? Unholy? No, no, he is mine, he is ours, and therefore I must be, in that sense, a god in this; where he is concerned I may decide what is best. And I believe this has done me good. I remember him. Again. Who he was. I had forgotten some- what already. But here: his exact proportions, his suit smelling of him still, his forelock between my fingers, the heft of him familiar from when he would fall asleep in the parlor and I would carry him up to—

It has done me good.
I believe it has.
It is secret. A bit of secret weakness, that shores me up; in shoring me up, it makes it more likely that I shall do my duty in other matters; it hastens the end of this period of weakness; it harms no one; therefore, it is not wrong, and I shall take away from here this resolve: I may return as often as I like, telling no one, accepting whatever help it may bring me, until it helps me no more.
Then Father touched his head to mine.
Dear boy, he said, I will come again. That is a promise.”


George Saunders (Chicago, 2 december 1958)

Man Booker Prize 2016 voor Paul Beatty

Man Booker Prize 2016 voor Paul Beatty

De Amerikaanse schrijver Paul Beatty heeft de Man Booker Prize 2016 gewonnen met zijn roman “The Sellout”. Beatty is de eerste Amerikaan die de prijs ontvangt. Zie ook alle tags voor Paul Beatty op dit blog.

Uit: The Sellout

“For the twenty years I knew him, Dad had been the interim dean of the department of psychology at West Riverside Community College. For him, having grown up as a stable manager’s son on a small horse ranch in Lexington, Kentucky, farming was nostalgic. And when he came out west with a teaching position, the opportunity to live in a black community and breed horses was too good to pass up, even if he’d never really been able to afford the mortgage and the upkeep.
Maybe if he’d been a comparative psychologist, some of the horses and cows would’ve lived past the age of three and the tomatoes would’ve had fewer worms, but in his heart he was more interested in black liberty than in pest management and the well-being of the animal kingdom. And in his quest to unlock the keys to mental freedom, I was his Anna Freud, his little case study, and when he wasn’t teaching me how to ride, he was replicating famous social science experiments with me as both the control and the experimental group. Like any “primitive” Negro child lucky enough to reach the formal operational stage, I’ve come to realize that I had a shitty upbringing that I’ll never be able to live down.
I suppose if one takes into account the lack of an ethics committee to oversee my dad’s childrearing methodologies, the experiments started innocently enough. In the early part of the twentieth century, the behaviorists Watson and Rayner, in an attempt to prove that fear was a learned behavior, exposed nine-month-old “Little Albert” to neutral stimuli like white rats, monkeys, and sheaves of burned newsprint. Initially, the baby test subject was unperturbed by the series of simians, rodents, and flames, but after Watson repeatedly paired the rats with unconscionably loud noises, over time “Little Albert” developed a fear not only of white rats but of all things furry. When I was seven months, Pops placed objects like toy police cars, cold cans of Pabst Blue Ribbon, Richard Nixon campaign buttons, and a copy of The Economist in my bassinet, but instead of conditioning me with a deafening clang, I learned to be afraid of the presented stimuli because they were accompanied by him taking out the family .38 Special and firing several window-rattling rounds into the ceiling, while shouting, “Nigger, go back to Africa!” loud enough to make himself heard over the quadraphonic console stereo blasting “Sweet Home Alabama” in the living room. To this day I’ve never been able to sit through even the most mundane TV crime drama, I have a strange affinity for Neil Young, and whenever I have trouble sleeping, I don’t listen to recorded rainstorms or crashing waves but to the Watergate tapes.”

Paul Beatty (Los Angeles, 9 juni 1962)

Man Booker Prize 2015 voor Marlon James

Man Booker Prize 2015 voor Marlon James

De Jamaicaanse schrijver Marlon James heeft de Man Booker Prize 2015 gewonnen voor “Een beknopte geschiedenis van zeven moorden”. Zie ook alle tags voor Marlon James op dit blog.

UitA Brief History of Seven Killings

Dead people never stop talking. Maybe because death is not death at all, just a detention after school. You know where you’re coming from and you’re always returning from it. You know where you’re going though you never seem to get there and you’re just dead. Dead. It sounds final but it’s a word missing an ing. You come across men longer dead than you, walking all the time though heading nowhere and you listen to them howl and hiss because we’re all spirits or we think we are all spirits but we’re all just dead. Spirits that slip inside other spirits. Sometimes a woman slips inside a man and wails like the memory of making love. They moan and keen loud but it comes through the window like a whistle or a whisper under the bed, and little children think there’s a monster. The dead love lying under the living for three reasons. (1) We’re lying most of the time. (2) Under the bed looks like the top of a coffin, but (3) There is weight, human weight on top that you can slip into and make heavier, and you listen to the heart beat while you watch it pump and hear the nostrils hiss when their lungs press air and envy even the shortest breath. I have no memory of coffins.
But the dead never stop talking and sometimes the living hear. This is what I wanted to say. When you’re dead speech is nothing but tangents and detours and there’s nothing to do but stray and wander awhile. Well, that’s at least what the others do. My point being that the expired learn from the expired, but that’s tricky. I could listen to myself, still claiming to anybody that would hear that I didn’t fall, I was pushed over the balcony at the Sunset Beach Hotel in Montego Bay. And I can’t say shut your trap, Artie Jennings, because every morning I wake up having to put my pumpkin-smashed head back together. And even as I talk now I can hear how I sounded then, can you dig it, dingledoodies? meaning that the afterlife is just not a happening scene, not a groovy shindig, Daddy-O, see those cool cats on the mat? They could never dig it, and there’s nothing to do but wait for the man that killed me, but he won’t die, he only gets older and older and trades out wives for younger and younger and breeding a whole brood of slow-witted boys and running the country down into the ground.”

Marlon James (Kingston, 24 november 1970)

Man Booker Prize voor Richard Flanagan

Man Booker Prize voor Richard Flanagan

De Australische schrijver Richard Flanagan heeft de Man Booker Prize 2014 gewonnen met zijn boek “The Narrow Road to the Deep North”. Dat is dinsdagavond in Londen door de jury bekendgemaakt.

De Australische schrijver Richard Flanagan werd geboren in Longford, Tasmanië, in 1961, als vijfde van zes kinderen. Hij groeide op in het afgelegen mijnstadje Rosebery aan de westkust. Flanagan verliet de school op 16-jarige leeftijd, maar ging later toch studeren aan de universiteit van Tasmanië. Hij behaalde zijn Bachelor of Arts en verwierf het daarop volgende jaar een Rhodes Scholarship aan het Worcester College, Oxford. Flanagan schreef vier non-fictie werken voordat hij overstapte op fictie. In 1994 verscheen zijn eerste roman “Death of a River Guide”, die hem beroemd maakte en in 1997 zijn tweede roman “The Sound of One Hand Clapping” , winnaar van de Australian Booksellers Book of the Year Award en de Vance Palmer Prize voor fictie. Het boek was een groot succes. Er werden meer dan 150.000 exemplaren van verkocht in Australië.  Dit succes werd gecontinueerd met de uitstekende receptie van zijn derde roman “Gould’s Book of Fish”, gepubliceerd in 2001.  Zijn roman “The unknown terrorist”,  gepubliceerd in 2007, werd zelfs wereldwijd goed ontvangen. Zijn meest recente roman “The Narrow Road to the Deep North” uit 2013 vertelt het levensverhaal van Dorrigo Evans, een gehandicapte oorlogsheld en overlevende van de Death Railway. Een verfilming van “The Sound of One Hand Clapping” werd  geselecteerd voor het Filmfestival van Berlijn in 1998. Richard Flanagan heeft eveneens artikelen geschreven over literatuur, milieu, kunst en politiek voor de Australische en internationale pers, waaronder Le Monde, The Daily Telegraph (Londen), Süddeutsche Zeitung, de New York Times en de New Yorker. Enkele van zijn artikelen waren omstreden. “De Selling-out of Tasmania”, gepubliceerd na de dood van de voormalige premier Jim Bacon in 2004, was kritisch over de relatie van Bacons regering met het bedrijfsleven.

Uit: The Narrow Road to the Deep North

“He felt more soft raindrops, saw bright-red oil against the brown mud, heard his mother calling again, but it was unclear what she was saying, was she calling him home or was it the sea? There was a world and there was him and the thread joining the two was stretching and stretching, he was trying to pull himself up that thread, he was desperately trying to haul himself back home to where his mother was calling. He tried calling to her but his mind was running out of his mouth in a long, long river towards the sea.”

“He felt the withering of something, the way risk was increasingly eliminated, replaced with a bland new world where the viewing of food preparation would be felt to be more than the reading of poetry; where excitement would come from paying for a soup made out of foraged grass. He had eaten soup made out of foraged grass in the camps; he preferred food.”

““He pulled out a book here and there, but what kept catching his attention were the diagonal tunnels of sunlight rolling in through the dormer windows. All around him dust motes rose and fell, shimmering, quivering in those shafts of roiling light. He found several shelves full of old editions of classical writers and began vaguely browsing, hoping to find a cheap edition of Virgil’s Aeneid, which he had only ever read in a borrowed copy. It wasn’t really the great poem of antiquity that Dorrigo Evans wanted though, but the aura he felt around such books–an aura that both radiated outwards and took him inwards to another world that said to him that he was not alone.
And this sense, this feeling of communion, would at moments overwhelm him. At such times he had the sensation that there was only one book in the universe, and that all books were simply portals into this greater ongoing work–an inexhaustible, beautiful world that was not imaginary but the world as it truly was, a book without beginning or end.”

Richard Flanagan (Longford, Tasmanië, 1961)

Booker Prize voor Hilary Mantel

Booker Prize voor Hilary Mantel


De Britse schrijfster Hilary Mantel heeft dinsdag voor de tweede keer de literaire Booker Prize gewonnen. Zij krijgt de prijs voor Bring Up the Bodies.Hilary Mary Mantel werd op 6 juli 1952 als Hilary Mary Thompson in Glossop, Derbyshire, geboren. Zie ook alle tags voor Hilary Mantel op dit blog.


Uit: Bring Up the Bodies

“His children are falling from the sky. He watches from horse-back, acres of England stretching behind him; they drop, gilt-winged, each with a blood-filled gaze. Grace Cromwell hovers in thin air. She is silent when she takes her prey, silent as she glides to his fist. But the sounds she makes then, the rustle of feathers and the creak, the sigh and riffle of pinion, the small cluck-cluck from her throat, these are sounds of recognition, intimate, daughterly, almost disapproving. Her breast is gore-streaked and flesh clings to her claws.

Later, Henry will say, ‘Your girls flew well today’. The hawk Anne Cromwell bounces on the glove of Rafe Sadler, who rides by the king in easy conversation. They are tired; the sun is declining, and they ride back to Wolf Hall with the reins slack on the necks of their mounts. Tomorrow his wife and two sisters will go out. These dead women, their bones long sunk in London clay, are now transmigrated. Weightless, they glide on the upper currents of the air. They pity no one. They answer to no one.

Their lives are simple. When they look down they see nothing but their prey, and the borrowed plumes of the hunters: they see a flittering, flinching universe, a universe filled with their dinner. All summer has been like this, a riot of dismemberment, fur and feather flying; the beating off and the whipping in of hounds, coddling of tired horses, the nursing, by the gentlemen, of contusions, sprains and blisters. And for a few days at least, the sun has shone on Henry. Sometime before noon, clouds scudded in from the west and rain fell in big scented drops; but the sun re-emerged with a scorching heat, and now the sky is so clear you can see into Heaven and spy on what the saints are doing.”


Hilary Mantel (Glossop, 6 juli 1952)

Man Booker Prize voor Julian Barnes

Man Booker Prize voor Julian Barnes

De Engelse schrijver Julian Barnes heeft de Britse literatuurprijs Man Booker Prize 2011 gewonnen. Hij kreeg de prijs voor zijn boek ‘The Sense of an Ending’. De Man Booker Prize is een van de belangrijkste onderscheidingen in de Engelstalige literatuur. De prijs wordt toegekend aan het beste Engelstalige fictiewerk uit het Gemenebest, Ierland en Zimbabwe.Julian Barnes werd geboren op 19 januari 1946 in Leicester. Zie ook alle tags voor Julian Barnes op dit blog.

Uit: The Sense of an Ending

„I remember, in no particular order:

– a shiny inner wrist;

– steam rising from a wet sink as a hot frying pan is laughingly tossed into it;

– gouts of sperm circling a plughole, before being sluiced down the full length of a tall house;

– a river rushing nonsensically upstream, its wave and wash lit by half a dozen chasing torchbeams;

– another river, broad and grey, the direction of its flow disguised by a stiff wind exciting the surface;

– bathwater long gone cold behind a locked door. This last isn’t something I actually saw, but what you end up remembering isn’t always the same as what you have witnessed.

We live in time – it holds us and moulds us – but I’ve never felt I understood it very well. And I’m not referring to theories about how it bends and doubles back, or may exist elsewhere in parallel versions. No, I mean ordinary, everyday time, which clocks and watches assure us passes regularly: tick-tock, click-clock. Is there anything more plausible than a second hand? And yet it takes only the smallest pleasure or pain to teach us time’s malleability. Some emotions speed it up, others slow it down; occasionally, it seems to go missing – until the eventual point when it really does go missing, never to return.

I’m not very interested in my schooldays, and don’t feel any nostalgia for them. But school is where it all began, so I need to return briefly to a few incidents that have grown into anecdotes, to some approximate memories which time has deformed into certainty. If I can’t be sure of the actual events any more, I can at least be true to the impressions those facts left. That’s the best I can manage.

There were three of us, and he now made the fourth. We hadn’t expected to add to our tight number: cliques and pairings had happened long before, and we were already beginning to imagine our escape from school into life. His name was Adrian Finn, a tall, shy boy who initially kept his eyes down and his mind to himself. For the first day or two, we took little notice of him: at our school there was no welcoming ceremony, let alone its opposite, the punitive induction. We just registered his presence and waited.“

Julian Barnes (
Leicester, 19 januari 1946)