We’ve read Antonia Honeywell’s list of the 10 things she learned from reading the Man Booker longlist (read it here), and have made particular note of point 5, namely the superiority of America and Americans in All Things. We are shocked – SHOCKED – to find that for years and years and years, we have been denying our long list the edifying presence of American writers (America! God shed his grace on thee!). It is no longer acceptable to us that writers who have won Pulitzers and National Book Awards should have to compromise their American-ness in order to be decorated with a Man Booker nomination. After all, half the shortlisted authors already live and work there. There must be something in the water, and we’re not going to miss out on it Any More. We want to play with the big boys! We can teach them some really good new games and they’ll be our friends.
We are sorry for Antonia Honeywell, and any other little British citizens who’ve spent significant proportions of their island lives dreaming of being nominated for the Man Booker (or the Booker, as it once was, when nuclear war loomed large on the horizon and a playlist was a C60 of songs recorded from the radio). But we gave you Eve Harris this year, and really, that’ll just have to keep you going for a bit. We want lovely big juicy authors, and how are we going to know who they are if we don’t let the Americans in? The world is becoming smaller and more homogenous, JUST in case you hadn’t noticed, and it’s important that we keep up with the times and create ONE literary author who wins Absolutely Everything. That way, we can all agree on how good they are. There are too many wars in the world as it is.
With lots and lots of peace and love, and may Ramona Quimby’s Dawnzer Lee Light shine upon you all.
The Man Booker Committee.