Here is the second half of my Booker Prize list.
6. The Bone People by Keri Hulme (winner, 1985)
“At once a mystery, a love story, and an ambitious exploration of the zone where Maori and European New Zealand meet, Booker Prize-winning novel “The Bone People” is a powerful and unsettling tale saturated with violence and Maori spirituality.”
7. Last Letters from Hav by Jan Morris (shortlisted, 1985)
“Visiting this imaginary place, somewhere on the Mediterranean coast, is Jan Morris, commissioned by an American magazine to write letters from Hav. Under her gaze, sometimes baffled, always sharp, Hav and its bizarre inhabitants spring to life in this narrative.”
8. Oscar and Lucinda by Peter Carey (winner, 1988)
“Oscar Hopkins is an Oxford seminarian with a passion for gambling. Lucinda Leplastrier is a Sydney heiress with a fascination for glass. The year is 1864. When they meet on the boat to Australia their lives will be forever changed …Daring, rich, intense and bizarre, Peter Carey’s Booker prize-winning novel is a brilliant achievement – a moving love story and a historical tour de force that is also powerfully contemporary.”
9. The Lost Father by Marina Warner (shortlisted, 1988)
“Like Visconti’s film The Leopard, this magnificent novel paints in sensuous colours the story of a family. It brings to new life the ancient disparaged south of the Italian peninsula, weakened by emigration, silenced by fascism. According to family legend, David Pittagora died as a result of a duel. His death is the mysterious pivot around which his grand-daughter, an independent modern woman, constructs an imaginary memoir of her mother’s background and life. She follows the family as they emigrate to New York – where they find only humiliation and poverty – and after their return to Italy in the early 1920’s. As she is drawn by the passions and prejudices of her own imagination, we see how family memory, like folk memory, weaves its own dreams.”
10. The Map of Love by Adhaf Souief (shortlisted, 1999)
“In 1900 Lady Anna Winterbourne travels to Egypt where she falls in love with Sharif, and Egyptian Nationalist utterly committed to his country’s cause. A hundred years later, Isabel Parkman, an American divorcee and a descendant of Anna and Sharif, goes to Egypt, taking with her an old family trunk, inside which are found notebooks and journals which reveal Anna and Sharif’s secret.”
Which novels from the Booker Prize list do you most want to read?