Welcome back to the Short Fiction Spotlight, a weekly column dedicated to doing exactly what it says in the header: shining a light on the some of the best and most relevant fiction of the aforementioned form.
The longlist of novels nominated for this year’s Man Booker Prize is notable for any number of reasons. The prevalence of American authors in a field formerly dominated by Brits and writers hailing from the countries of the Commonwealth can hardly come as a surprise, being a direct effect of the new rules, but the lack of big hitters—foremostly favourites like Martin Amis and Ian McEwan—indubitably does.
David Mitchell’s longlisting for his new book, The Bone Clocks, bucks both of the aforementioned trends. Aside a sojourn in Sicily and eight years of teaching in Hiroshima, he’s a University of Kent-educated Englishman who has been what you might describe as a Booker bridesmaid not once or twice but thrice: for number9dream, Cloud Atlas, and finally, four Prizes past, for The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet. Could 2014 be his year? Having read ‘The Right Sort,’ an experimental short set in the same world as the author’s upcoming novel, I’d put to you that it’s a real possibility.