So, I’ve made really good progress on the 2017 Man Booker Shortlist, that I figured I’d give this list a bash too. I’ve been waiting and waiting for this shortlist, because the longest was just too long for me with all the other books I wanted to read, but it’s finally here.
When I Hit You; Or A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Wife by Meena Kandasamy
I hauled this one not too long ago, and even though I haven’t read it yet, I am so glad to see this on the shortlist, as it will push me to read it in the upcoming months. The title seems refreshingly self-explanatory, and we follow an unnamed narrator who marries a university professor, and embarks on what I presume to be an abusive relationship. This was one that stood out on the longlist, so much so that I bought it for my kindle, so I am really glad to see that it made it to the shortlist.
Sight by Jessie Greengrass
Like When I Hit You, this is also a short little thing, which I have been loving since I read Release last December. At less than 200 pages, Sight, explores the relationship between child and parent. Our protagonist is pregnant so while she looks back at her own relationship with her mother, she also looks to the future , wondering how her own relationship with her child will pan out. It seems to be an incredible reflective text, which I am a little nervous about. I’m worries it will turn into more of an essay that a novel, though it it’s gotten this far it must be brilliant, as all of these books are.
The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock by Imogen Hermes Gower
Of all the book on the shortlist this year The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock has the most gorgeous cover. This is a historical fiction novel following a merchant Jonah Hancock, whose captain has sold Hancock’s ship for a mermaid. Later, during an exhibition of his new possession, he falls head over heels in love with a women, spotted across the room. This girl, Angelica Neal, is a stunning courtesan with great ambitions, whose live intertwines with Jonah’s in some way. I have already seen many positive reviews for this one, which is always promising.
The Idiot by Elif Bautman
Set in 1995, one whole year before I was born, The Idiot takes place at a college in New Jersey. Does anyone else love college books, or is it just me? Essentially this is a coming of age story that primarily follows Selin, a Turkish-American freshman, whose ultimate goal is to become a writer. It’s a story about friendship, and love, about education both in terms of personal growth and professional growth, about the American Dream and our own dreams, and it’s one that I’m super excited about. I also really like this cover, but you know what they say…
Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward
As the only book on the shortlist with magical realism, and my pervious snuggles with this genre (let’s not discuss Midnight’s Children) I feel like Sing, Unburied, Sing has a lot to prove. It I enjoy it then the genre will be back on my list, but if not, it will be goodbye forever. Yes, I am that dramatic. Anyway, this book is told from the point of view of Jojo, a thirteen year old child, whose father is being released from prison. While his mother has her own drug related struggles, he is trying to understand who he wants to be in the world, while also being plagued by a ghost of a dead inmate of the prison.
And those are the five shortlisted books that I will be attempting to read this summer. So far the only one I own is When I Hit You, and I’ll most likely be reading the rest through my library (as I have done with the ManBooker shortlist)
Have you read any of these books and what did you think? Do you want to read any of them?
Thanks for reading,