Howard Jacobson on Man Booker shortlist

By Jennifer Lipman, September 6, 2010
Howard Jacobson

Howard Jacobson

Howard Jacobson has made the shortlist for Man Booker Prize for Fiction for the first time.

His novel The Finkler Question was announced as one of six from the original longlist of 13 vying for the 2010 prize.

The book, Mr Jacobson’s 15th, follows three friends as they reminisce about their life experiences.

It has received rave reviews, with The Independent praising it for balancing "bleak moralising with life-affirming humour".

The Observer said it was "full of wit, warmth, intelligence, human feeling and understanding".

Writing in the JC, Anthony Julius described it as "a remarkable work" and said it was "very funny" and "utterly original".

The Jewish novelist was nominated for the award in 2002 and 2006, but he did not progress beyond the longlist on either occasion. Mr Jacobson said that he was "absolutely delighted" to have been shortlisted, admitting that he had not thought it was ever going to happen. "I'm just delighted to have been shortlisted, and particularly so with this book," he said.

South African Jewish author Damon Galgut also made the shortlist for his book In a Strange Room.

The Man Booker is considered one of the most prestigious literary accolades in the world and comes with £50,000 prize money.

The winner will be announced on October 12 during a dinner at London's Guildhall.

* Bookmaker William Hill has just announced odds on the Man Booker shortlist:

2/1 Tom McCarthy 'C'

3/1 Emma Donoghue 'Room'

3/1 Damon Galgut 'In A Strange Room'

5/1 Peter Carey 'Parrot and Olivier in America'

7/1 Andrea Levy 'The Long Song'

8/1 Howard Jacobson 'The Finkler Question'

Read a review of ‘The Finkler Question’ here

Read the JC’s interview with Howard Jacobson here

Last updated: 12:15pm, October 12 2010