TWO Irish authors have made the 13-strong longlist for the Man Booker Prize 2014.
Niall Williams and Joseph O’Neill are in the running for this year’s literary award, which is the prize’s first international longlist.
Dublin-born writer Williams’ novel History of the Rain is set in the village of Faha in west Clare, where young Ruth Swain is in search of her father.
In order to find him she must trace the history of her ancestors through the 3,958 books that are piled high in her attic room as she lies bedbound beneath the falling rain.
O’Neill, a Cork native now living in the US, has been nominated for his novel The Dog, described by the publisher as “a tale of alienation and heartbreak in Dubai.” His 2008 novel Netherland previously made the Booker long list but failed to make the short list.
This year, for the first time in its 46 year history, the £50,000 prize (€63,265) has been opened up to writers of any nationality, writing originally in English and published in the UK.
The prize was previously open to authors from the UK & Commonwealth, Republic of Ireland and Zimbabwe.
The rules of the prize changed at the end of 2013, to embrace "the freedom of English in all its vigour, its vitality, its versatility and its glory wherever it may be".
Last year’s prize was won by New Zealander Eleanor Catton for her book The Luminaries, which at 832 pages was also the longest winner.
The 2014 judging panel include Grayling, Jonathan Bate; Sarah Churchwell; Daniel Glaser; Alastair Niven and Erica Wagner.
The shortlist of six books will be announced on Tuesday 9 September at a press conference at the London offices of Man Group, the prize’s sponsor.
The 2014 winner announcement will then be broadcast by the prize’s broadcasting partner, the BBC, from London’s Guildhall on Tuesday 14 October.
The Man Booker Prize Longlist 2014
Joshua Ferris - To Rise Again at a Decent Hour (Viking)
Richard Flanagan - The Narrow Road to the Deep North (Chatto & Windus)
Karen Joy Fowler - We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves (Serpent's Tail)
Siri Hustvedt - The Blazing World (Sceptre)
Howard Jacobson - J (Jonathan Cape)
Paul Kingsnorth - The Wake (Unbound)
David Mitchell - The Bone Clocks (Sceptre)
Neel Mukherjee - The Lives of Others (Chatto & Windus)
David Nicholls - Us (Hodder & Stoughton)
Joseph O'Neill - The Dog (Fourth Estate)
Richard Powers - Orfeo (Atlantic Books)
Ali Smith - How to be Both (Hamish Hamilton)
Niall Williams - History of the Rain (Bloomsbury )