The secret keepers

The Booker Longlist’s been out less than a month: already I’m seeing certain books appear on the Tube, in headlines, even on my own bedside table. I’m sure if I was near a beach, there’d be Betrayals and Long Songs from Boscombe to Bournemouth, maybe even a Thousand Autumns on the pier. I love the idea that we’re all deep in a big reading group, all going through the same stories together, pondering as one the same metaphysical questions, all testing the taste of Andrew Motion and co. And when the Green Carnation longlist is announced…

Because a secret reading taskforce has been in operation just lately: in Whitstable, Manchester, London and Paris, all sorts of stories have been read and considered and sometimes, sometimes adored. As if we worked for some government ministry, combing the work of suspiciously deviant individuals for clues and codewords and access to the Underworld. On buses, on boulevards, in living rooms and on futons, in stolen hours and twilight hours, we’ve shuffled the contenders, embarking on the same stories, characters, questions, jokes, thrills, and indiscretions. Not to censor but to CELEBRATE. And when the Green Carnation longlist is announced…

And it’s been difficult, especially when we’re reading something startling; we’ve had to be evasive with friends, lovers and relations, protecting the operation’s passwords and code-names. Sometimes we all agree: This novel’s amazing, visceral, beautiful. Sometimes there’s dissent. Diaries have been coming out, a rendezvous arranged. At an undisclosed address at London, the secret keepers will soon converge to discuss and find some agreement on what we think are the absolute best books by gay men published – or to be published – this year. An initial idea of what’s made us sit up, made us laugh or cry. Big names, new names, new stories – all will soon be revealed. And when the Green Carnation longlist is announced…

This entry was posted in The Green Carnation Prize 2010. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The secret keepers

  1. I love this. Will Tweet it etc

  2. bookgazing says:

    It seems like it will be forever before it’s announced!

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