September always heralds the Man Booker shortlist and this year’s was announced at the Man Group head offices on the Thames to a packed room of arts correspondents. The subject of the six books selected by the 2015 judges – Michael Wood (Chair), Ellah Allfrey, Frances Osborne, John Burnside and Sam Leith – sparked a proliferation of ‘grim’ headlines such as ‘Child abuse? Murder? Drugs? Booker’s got the lot, says judge’ (Daily Telegraph).
Despite this, the list has garnered widespread admiration, described as ‘spectacular’ by Cathy Rentzenbrink at The Bookseller and denoting, in the words of Foyles’ Jonathan Ruppin ‘the Man Booker Prize's pre-eminence in promoting the novel as an artform’. The public agreed: as the news filtered out, the shortlist announcement trended on Twitter and readers – including Mia Farrow and Anika Rice – rushed off to buy the books ahead of the announcement of the 2015 winner at Guildhall on 13 October.