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One Book on Coveted Shortlist Has Just a Few Sentences

But, man, are they long sentences; the 2019 Booker Prize finalists are out
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 3, 2019 8:09 AM CDT
Margaret Atwood makes the cut for 'The Testaments,' a sequel to 'The Handmaid's Tale.' Also on the list is a 1,000-page novel made up of a handful of stream-of-consciousness sentences: Lucy Ellmann's...   (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

(Newser) – The shortlist is out for one of the literary world's most coveted honors, and Margaret Atwood's long-anticipated sequel to The Handmaid's Tale is on it. The Testaments will be released in the US next week, picking up 15 years after the original—turned into a hit Hulu series starring Elisabeth Moss—left off, reports the BBC. The only American on the list is Lucy Ellmann for her book Ducks, Newburyport. To say the book is unusual might be an understatement. The Guardian counts eight sentences in the book, but they are run-on, stream-of-consciousness sentences from an Ohio housewife while baking. In fact, they are so run-on that the book clocks in at nearly 1,000 pages. "Experimental," is the word used by the New York Times. The complete list, which includes Salman Rushdie:

  • Margaret Atwood (Canada), The Testaments (Vintage, Chatto & Windus)
  • Lucy Ellmann (USA/UK), Ducks, Newburyport (Galley Beggar Press)
  • Bernardine Evaristo (UK), Girl, Woman, Other (Hamish Hamilton)
  • Chigozie Obioma (Nigeria), An Orchestra of Minorities (Little Brown)
  • Salman Rushdie (UK/India), Quichotte (Jonathan Cape)
  • Elif Shafak (UK/Turkey), 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World (Viking)

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