Well, with a title like The Slap, how could it not? I'm an opinionated person, and Australian writer Christos Tsiolkas' book sounds like something that could make me debate for hours. In fact, The Slap has sparked heated discussions across Australia since it was published in 2008.
The Slap narrates the point-of-view stories of a group of eight people who attended a barbecue where a man slapped a three-year-old child who was not his. The story touches on middle-class values, racism, machismo, domestic violence, and envy; it questions the loyalty of friends and family alike. The book has been accused of being misogynistic, but Tsiolkas explains that it's not the book that's misogynistic, but the "infantile men" in the book that are misogynistic.
The Slap has won five prizes and been short- and longlisted for several others.
Here is the longlist of Man Booker Prize 2010 nominees. The shortlist will be announced on September 7 and the winner on October 12.
Peter Carey, Parrot and Olivier in America
Emma Donoghue, Room
Helen Dunmore, The Betrayal
Damon Galgut, In a Strange Room
Howard Jacobson, The Finkler Question
Andrea Levy, The Long Song
Tom McCarthy, C
David Mitchell, The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet
Lisa Moore, February
Paul Murray, Skippy Dies
Rose Tremain, Trespass
Christos Tsiolkas, The Slap
Alan Warner, The Stars in the Bright Sky