Here’s a link to the story I wrote for the Chicago Tribune with my Man Booker predictions. I’ll know in a few minutes how wildly off-base I was.
Some literary awards are like Christmas presents. They simply appear under the tree. We’re all thrilled by the surprise — or in the case of the 2012 Pulitzer for fiction, not so thrilled by the missing present. The Man Booker Prize — for books written by citizens of the U.K. Commonwealth, Ireland or Zimbabwe — is different. No one need run downstairs on Tuesday when the winner is announced to see what’s waiting and hope it fits and isn’t hideous. It’s more like the Oscars. The judges announce the dozen or so books considered prize contenders in July. A month before the award, the Man Booker folks release a short list of finalists, the half-dozen books from which the winner will be selected. It’s a reader-participation opportunity. I could use another month to read them all, but if I’m diligent, I can be part of the process. I don’t get a vote. God help us, we do not need a People’s Choice Award for literature. (We already have one — the best-sellers list.) But I do earn debating rights and the smug satisfaction of being in the literary know. In England. Where they have those smart accents.
(the rest of the story: http://www.chicagotribune.com/features/books/ct-prj-1014-man-booker-20121016,0,5097917.story?page=1 )