The late Shiva Naipaul, younger brother of V. S. Naipaul, has been put on the long list for the lost Man Booker Prize that seeks to honor books published in 1970. In 1971, just two years after the award was instituted, the Booker ceased to be awarded retrospectively and became, as it is today, a prize for the best novel in the year of publication. At the same time, the date on which the award was given moved from April to November. As a result of these changes, there was a whole year’s gap when a wealth of fiction, published in 1970, fell through the net. These books were simply never considered for the prize. The lost Man Booker is a one-off prize to honor books published in that “lost” year. A panel of three judges has been appointed to select a shortlist of six novels. They are journalist and critic Rachel Cooke, ITN newsreader Katie Derham, and poet and novelist Tobias Hill. The winner will be announced in May.
Shiva Naipaul’s book, Fireflies, figures in the long list of 22 books that are eligible for the prize. The complete list includes: Brian Aldiss’ The Hand Reared Boy; H. E. Bates’ A Little of What You Fancy?; Nina Bawden’s The Birds on the Trees; Melvyn Bragg’s A Place in England; Christy Brown’s Down All the Days; Len Deighton’s Bomber; J. G. Farrell’s Troubles; Elaine Feinstein’s The Circle; Shirley Hazzard’s The Bay of Noon; Reginald Hill’s A Clubbable Woman; Susan Hill’s I’m the King of the Castle; Francis King’s A Domestic Animal; Margaret Laurence’s The Fire Dwellers; David Lodge’s Out of the Shelter; Iris Murdoch’s A Fairly Honourable Defeat; Shiva Naipaul’s Fireflies; Patrick O’Brian’s Master and Commander; Joe Orton’s Head to Toe; Mary Renault’s Fire from Heaven; Ruth Rendell’s A Guilty Thing Surprised; Muriel Spark’s The Driver’s Seat; and Patrick White’s The Vivisector.