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Congratulations to the 13 outstanding authors representing this year’s Booker Prize Longlist, and a special shout-out to our two ALU nominees, below!
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Longlisted for the 2023 Booker Prize • One of the Globe and Mail‘s “Sixty-Two Books to Read This Fall”
A funny and deeply moving novel about a boy, his dream, and the people who lend him a hand, by the acclaimed author of As You Were
Jamie O’Neill loves the colour red. He also loves tall trees, patterns, rain that comes with wind, the curvature of many objects, books with dust jackets, cats, rivers and Edgar Allan Poe. At age thirteen, there are two things he especially wants in life: to build a Perpetual Motion Machine, and to connect with his mother, Noelle, who died when he was born. In his mind these things are intimately linked. And at his new school, where all else is disorientating and overwhelming, he finds two people who might just be able to help him.
How to Build a Boat is the story of how one boy and his mission transforms the lives of his teachers, Tess and Tadhg, and brings together a community. Written with tenderness and verve, it’s about love, family and connection, the power of imagination, and how our greatest adventures never happen alone.
Longlisted, Booker Prize
From the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Tinkers, a novel inspired by the true story of Malaga Island, an isolated island off the coast of Maine that became one of the first racially integrated communities.
In 1792, formerly enslaved Benjamin Honey and his Irish wife, Patience, discovered an island where they could make a life together. More than a century later, the Honeys’ descendants remain on Apple Island, with an eccentric, diverse band of neighbours: a pair of sisters raising three Penobscot orphans; Theophilus and Candace Lark and their nocturnal brood; and the prophetic Zachary Hand to God Proverbs, a Civil War veteran who lives in a hollow tree.
Then comes the intrusion of “civilization”: eugenics-minded state officials decide to “cleanse” the island, and a missionary-schoolteacher selects one light-skinned boy to save. The rest will be left to succumb to institutions or cast themselves on the waters in a new Noah’s Ark.
In prose of transcendent beauty and power, Paul Harding has written a mesmerizing story that explores the hopes, the dreams, and the resilience of those perceived not to fit in a world brutally intolerant of difference.