booker prize

10 Posts Back Home

Review: The Marrying of Chani Kaufmann by Eve Harris

She heard the men singing. Their shouts of ‘lai-lai-lai!’ rolled down the dusty synagogue corridor. They were coming for her. This was it. This was her day. The day her real life started. She was nineteen and had never held a boy’s hand. The only man to touch her had been her father and his physical affection had dwindled since her body had curved and ripened.

Chani Kaufmann, brought up in a large impoverished Jewish family in North West London’s large orthodox community, has become engaged to gauche and bookish Baruch, despite the not-so-subtle sabotage attempts by his socially-ambitious mother.   She is nervous and exhilarated by the idea that marriage would actually lift the “bell jar’’ under which she lives her life, or at least, having someone to share it with.

Eve Harris’s debut novel, The Marrying of Chani Kaufmann , is essentially two stories running in parallel, occasionally merging before going their separate ways again. For Chani is not the only one struggling to understand and conform to the strict religious and social mores of orthodox Jewish life. The Rebbetzin, Rabbi Lieberman’s wife, has been instructing her in the rites and obligations of marriage, but the process revives painful memories of her own romance and introduction into the Jewish life in Jerusalem and gradually makes her question everything about the daily rhythms of life that have directed her for years. For her the “drug of spiritual bliss’’ had worn off.

Preview of film of John Banville’s The Sea

Staying for a moment with the Booker Prize theme, the film of John Banville’s Booker Prize-winning The Sea, is scheduled for release in England in September. For a quick preview go to: The movie stars Charlotte Rampling (The Night Porter,  Swimming Pool, Dexter), Rufus Sewell (Dangerous Beauty, The Woodlanders,…

Booker Prize 2013 longlist announced

Women have dominated the Booker Prize long list taking out seven of the 13 slots. In an eclectic selection said by the judges to be the most diverse ever there was only a smattering of well-known authors. There was a fair international spread with four British authors, three Irish and representatives from Malaysia, Zimbabwe, New Zealand, India and Canada. The full long list is:

Who will make the Booker Long List 2013?

The hype that always surrounds the prestigious Booker  Prize has already begun with the news that the Long List for 2013 will be announced on July 25th.

Last year’s list provided some treasurers. Apart from winner Hilary Mantel’s Bring Up the Bodies, Tan Twan Eng’s The Garden of Evening Mists was probably my favorite read of the year and a book that everyone to whom I recommended it seems to have enjoyed too, Other memorable ones are Swimming Home by Deborah Levy, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce, The Lighthouse by Alison Moore and Narcopolis by Jeet Thayil.

It’s a big deal, for reputation and sales, to make it onto even the Long List of what is one of the world’s most prestigious literary competitions. So, who will make it into the spotlight in 2013? Apart from the judges, my guess is as good as any, so here are some possible contenders.

TransAtlantic by Colum McCann: McCann’s novel, is divided into a series of narratives

Booker winner … perhaps.

With the announcement of the Booker Prize winner imminent, and having read five of the books on the shortlist, I am declaring my hand and announcing my winner now: Bring Up The Bodies by Hilary Mantel.  It was a close thing though. Right up to the end I have been…


Get the latest posts delivered to your mailbox: