Pan Macmillan are delighted to announce that Robin Robertson’s The Long Take has been longlisted for the Man Booker Prize.
A noir narrative written with the intensity and power of poetry, The Long Take is one of the most remarkable – and unclassifiable – books of recent years.
Walker is a D-Day veteran with post-traumatic stress disorder; he can’t return home to rural Nova Scotia, and looks instead to the city for freedom, anonymity and repair. As he moves from New York to Los Angeles and San Francisco we witness a crucial period of fracture in American history, one that also allowed film noir to flourish. The Dream had gone sour but – as those dark, classic movies made clear – the country needed outsiders to study and dramatise its new anxieties.
While Walker tries to piece his life together, America is beginning to come apart: deeply paranoid, doubting its own certainties, riven by social and racial division, spiralling corruption and the collapse of the inner cities. The Long Take is about a good man, brutalised by war, haunted by violence and apparently doomed to return to it – yet resolved to find kindness again, in the world and in himself.
The judges commented: “The Long Take is like a film noir on the page. A book about a man and a city in shock, it’s an extraordinary evocation of the debris and the ongoing destruction of war even in times of peace. In taking a scenario we think we know from the movies but offering a completely different perspective, Robin Robertson shows the flexibility a poet can bring to form and style.”
This year’s longlist of 13 books was selected by a panel of five judges: by the philosopher Kwame Anthony Appiah (Chair); crime writer Val McDermid; cultural critic Leo Robson; feminist writer and critic Jacqueline Rose; and artist and graphic novelist Leanne Shapton.
The 2018 longlist in full:
Snap, Belinda Bauer (Penguin Random House, Bantam Press)
Milkman, Anna Burns (Faber & Faber)
Sabrina, Nick Drnaso (Granta, Granta Books)
In Our Mad and Furious City, Guy Gunaratne (Headline, Tinder Press)
Everything Under, Daisy Johnson (Vintage, Jonathan Cape
The Mars Room, Rachel Kushner (Vintage, Jonathan Cape)
The Water Cure, Sophie Mackintosh (Penguin Random House, Hamish Hamilton)
Warlight, Michael Ondaatje (Vintage, Jonathan Cape)
The Overstory, Richard Powers (Penguin Random House, William Heinemann)
The Long Take, Robin Robertson (Pan Macmillan, Picador )
Normal People, Sally Rooney (Faber & Faber)
From a Low and Quiet Sea, Donal Ryan (Transworld Ireland, Doubleday Ireland)