30 July 2009

2009 Man Booker Prize Longlist

The 2009 Man Booker Prize Longlist was announced yesterday. I like the breadth of titles/authors under consideration but, being that the award is made off British publication dates, at least one contender has yet to hit bookselves on the US side of the Pond.

A S Byatt » The Children’s Book » Chatto & Windus
US release: October 6, 2009 - I would consider ordering from a UK source as long as I can find one that is not Amazon and the shipping wouldn't be astronomical, at which point it probably wouldn't arrive until October anyway.
J M Coetzee » Summertime » Harvill Secker
This will release September 3, 2009, in the UK (according to various online retailers) and I can't find a reliable US date.
Adam Foulds » The Quickening Maze » Jonathan Cape
No US date as yet.
Sarah Hall » How to Paint a Dead Man » Faber & Faber
US release: September 9, 2009
Samantha Harvey » The Wilderness » Jonathan Cape
Released in the US February 2009.
James Lever » Me Cheeta » Fourth Estate
Released in the US March 2009
Hilary Mantel » Wolf Hall » Fourth Estate
US release October 10, 2009
Simon Mawer » The Glass Room » Little, Brown
No US date as yet.
Ed O’Loughlin » Not Untrue & Not Unkind » Penguin
No US date as yet.
James Scudamore » Heliopolis » Harvill Secker
No US date as yet.
Colm Toibin » Brooklyn » Penguin
Released in the US May 2009
William Trevor » Love and Summer » Penguin
US release September 19, 2009
Sarah Waters » The Little Stranger » Little, Brown
Released in the US April 2009

This gets to a small problem I have with books coming out of the UK because it seems like so many books have a significant delay between the UK and US releases (and I'm sure that the problem is reversed for residents of the UK). Aside from haggling amongst different publishers for UK-based authors' manuscripts, I see no real reason why it should take that long for a book to arrive in the US once it has released in the UK. Or any other English-speaking county, for that matter. The book has already been edited for publication so you don't have to check for typos or anything else the copy-editor might be needed for. There's no reason to change covers and you don't have to translate the book. So load the text into the printing press and off you go.

Translation brings up another sticky point. I LOATHE "translations" from British English to American English. It is pointless and offensive that I, as a reader, cannot enjoy the authors words as set out because some editor in an office somewhere thought that I might not understand British slang or spelling. Newsflash: slang adds color and it isn't a different language. A different language to me is anything not English (I can read German and some French but not well enough to sense nuance and idiom so bring on the translations in that case).

My point? I want my copy of The Children's Book. Now. Chop, chop, US publishers.

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