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The Booker Prize remembers the 70s

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The Booker Prize remembers some great novels 40 years on

The world famous Man Booker Prize is delving back 30 years to create the long list for what has been dubbed as The Lost Man Booker Prize. The reason for a wealth of literary gems missing out the chance to win one of the literary world’s most respected prizes has been put down to the fact that in 1971 just two years after it began The Booker stopped being awarded retrospectively and became as it is now the best novel in the year of publication. At the same time the date of the award being given was moved from April to November, this now means that one year’s worth of publications published in 1970 missed out on the chance to be nominated for the Booker prize.

Now forty years on a panel of judges whom all of them where born in or around 1970 has been selected to judge to create the shortlist of six novels that the Booker prize nearly forgot. The long list was made up of books that would have been available for selection in 1970 as well as still being in print and easily available. The panel of judges is made up of journalist and critic, Rachel Cooke, ITN newsreader, Katie Derham and poet and novelist, Tobias Hill.

The long list which was announced on the 1 February is

Brian Aldiss, ‘The Hand Reared Boy’
H.E.Bates, ‘A Little Of What You Fancy?’
Nina Bawden, ‘The Birds On The Trees’
Melvyn Bragg, ‘A Place In England’
Christy Brown, ‘Down All The Days’
Len Deighton, ‘Bomber’
J.G.Farrell, ‘Troubles’
Elaine Feinstein, ‘The Circle’
Shirley Hazzard, ‘The Bay Of Noon’
Reginald Hill, ‘A Clubbable Woman’
Susan Hill, ‘I’m The King Of The Castle’
Francis King, ‘A Domestic Animal’
Margaret Laurence, ‘The Fire Dwellers’
David Lodge, ‘Out Of The Shelter’
Iris Murdoch, ‘A Fairly Honourable Defeat’
Shiva Naipaul, ‘Fireflies’
Patrick O’Brian, ‘Master and Commander’
Joe Orton, ‘Head To Toe’
Mary Renault, ‘Fire From Heaven’
Ruth Rendell, ‘A Guilty Thing Surprised’
Muriel Spark, ‘The Driver’s Seat’
Patrick White, ‘The Vivisector’

Some of the names featured in the long list have featured in later Booker prize nominations David Lodge, Muriel Spark, Nina Bawden and Susan Hill where all featured in later lists. Going one step further J.G. Farrell, novel The Siege of Krishnapur won the prize in 1973 whilst Iris Murdoch’s The Sea, The Sea won in 1978. Proving that the long list is not just made up of one hit wonders that should remain in the 70s, Ion Trewin, literary director of the Man Booker Prizes commented on the list saying “Our long list demonstrates that 1970 was a remarkable year for fiction written in English. Recognition for these novels and the eventual winner is long overdue”.

The shortlist will be announced in March but like previous Booker prizes the final six will be thrown to the reading public for voting, with the overall winner being announced in May.

Watch Hilary Mantel chat about winning The Man Booker Prize 2009 with her novel Wolf Hall belo:

Discussion:
So, do you think The Booker Prize guys have missed off any titles? What is your favourite book of the 70s and why? Maybe there’s another novel based in the 70s that deserves some credit too?

Words: Seamus Swords

Final Fantasy II
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20th century’s greatest writers immortalised on CD

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F. Scott Fitzgerald

F. Scott Fitzgerald

The British Library is set to release a CD filled with rare recordings of some of the 20th century’s greatest writers.

The disc will feature both English and American writers as they read and speak openly about their work. This will be the first time that many of their voices will be herd since the recordings where made.

Dubbed ‘The Spoken Word: British Writers and American Writers’ contains some extremely rare audio material including the only surviving recording of Virginia Wolf as well as the only recording  ever made of Arthur Conan Doyle who used the opportunity to explain the importance of spiritualism.

Also recorded are F. Scott Fitzgerald reciting Othello and a drunk Raymond Chandler in conversation with Ian Fleming.

Richard Fairman of the library’s sound archive described the collection of audio tracks as a real treasure trove, This couldn’t be truer with the inclusion of thought provoking recordings of Joe Orton which were made weeks before he was murdered by his lover Kenneth Halliwell.

“The reason people love hearing the CDs is because we read these authors and we feel we know them through reading their work.”

Fairman continued: “But when we hear them speak it’s like meeting them in person. It’s not quite as good as having them walk up to you, but it’s not bad.”

Despite the British Library’s extensive archives there are still some influential authors missing. Richard Fairman has made a plea for anyone with sound recordings of DH Lawrence, John Goldsworthy and George Orwell to get in contact.

To read up on the previous British Library release of ‘Spoken Word: Graham Greene’ follow this link.

In a deviation from normal TSB (The Scribbler Blog) practise, we’ve embedded the trailer to the new Bond film, ‘Quantum of Solace’. Well you can’t mention Ian Fleming without indulging in a cinematic treat. Enjoy:

Words: Seamus Swords