Three Americans – Patricia Lockwood, Richard Powers and Maggie Shipstead – are among the six shortlisted titles for the 2021 Booker Prize.
The £ 50,000 (CAN $ 28,474.25) Prize annually recognizes the best original novel written in English and published in the UK
In 2014, the award expanded its eligibility to international writers. Originally, it was only open to writers from the Commonwealth, Ireland and South Africa.
Lockwood is nominated for her first novel, Nobody talks about it.
Nobody talks about it is about an influencer who is gaining notoriety and online, but who is tormented by existential thoughts. She has to face everything she thinks she knows when her real life and her online life collide.
Lockwood is also the author of the collections of poetry Pop Outlaw Balloon Black and Homeland Homeland Patriesexual and the memory Father priest.
Powers makes his second appearance on the Booker Prize finalist list. He is nominated in 2021 for Perplexity.
Perplexity is about a single father who is an astrobiologist and totally dedicated to helping his struggling nine-year-old son.
Powers had already been nominated in 2018 for his novel Overhistory. The story also won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.
Shipstead is nominated for the novel Great Circle.
Great Circle is about an iconic aviator, Marian Graves, and how her life surprisingly intersects with the life of an actor named Hadley Baxter, who is cast to play Marian in a biopic of her life decades later.
Shipstead is also the author of the novels The seating arrangement and Surprise me.
To complete the shortlist of six books, A passage to the north through Anuk Arudpragasam, The promise by Damon Galgut and Men of fortune by Nadifa Mohamed.
A passage to the north tells the story of a man who returns home on a pilgrimage to Sri Lanka to attend a family funeral following 30 years of civil war in the country. Arudpragasam is a Sri Lankan Tamil novelist. He is also the author of the novel The story of a brief marriage.
The promise is about a struggling white family living during apartheid South Africa. All of their issues come to the fore as the family prepares for the funeral. Galgut is a South African writer. He began his publishing career at age 17, with the novel Sinless season. His other books include Little Circle of Beings, The Beautiful Howling of Pigs, The Career, The Good Doctor, The Impostor and In a strange room.
Galgut has already been shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 2003 for The Good Doctor and 2010 for In a strange room.
Men of fortune is a novel about a petty criminal who, after being wrongly convicted of murder, becomes the last man hanged in Cardiff in 1952. Mohamed is a British Somali writer – the first to be shortlisted for the Booker Prize. She is also the author of the novels Black mamba boy and The orchard of lost souls.
We are delighted to announce the preselection of the # 2021BookerPrize ! Take a look at the reactions of our six authors below and find out more about the shortlisted books here: https://t.co/WlflFL1jfo pic.twitter.com/alVZGcAKJU
“With so many ambitious and clever books before us, the judges engaged in rich discussions not only about the qualities of a given title, but often about the purpose of the fiction itself. We are happy to present a list. restricted which offers a wide range of original stories such as voices and styles, ”Jury President Maya Jasanoff said in a statement.
“While each book is immersive on its own, together they are an expansive demonstration of what fiction does today.”
The jury chose the long list and the short list from among 158 titles submitted.
The 2021 jury is made up of American Harvard professor Jasonoff, British theological writer and academic Rowan Williams, Nigerian writer Chigozie Obioma, British actor Natascha McElhone and British journalist Horatia Harrod.
The winner will be announced on November 3, 2021.
Two Canadians made the 13-pound long list
Two Canadian writers were on the long list: Ontario writer Mary Lawson for A town called Consolation and British-Canadian writer Rachel Cusk for Second place.
A town called Consolation is a novel told from three different angles: Clara, a young woman sitting at her window, waiting for her missing sister to come home, Liam, Clara’s new neighbor whom Clara watches with suspicion and Mrs. Orchard, the old woman who owns the house where Liam stays. As their stories unfold, the mystery of what happened to Clara’s sister and how Ms. Orchard and Liam are related.
Lawson is an acclaimed novelist who grew up in Ontario and now lives in the UK. His other novels include Raven Lake, The other side of the bridge and Road ends. Raven Lake won Amazon Canada’s First Novel Award.
Second place is a novel about a woman who invites a famous artist to her remote coastal town. She hopes her vision and talent will change her life and her outlook. What takes place is a study of humanity, beauty, and connection, as the novel explores how our internal and external lives are connected.
Cusk is a Canadian born novelist who lives in the UK. She is best known for her Outline trilogy, which includes the novels Contour, Transit and Glory. The two Contour and Transit were shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize in 2015 and 2017 respectively.
Last year’s winner was Scottish writer Douglas Stuart for his novel Shuggie Bath.
Margaret Atwood shared the 2019 award with British novelist Bernardine Evaristo. Atwood was recognized for her novel Wills, and Evaristo for his novel Girl, Woman, Other. They shared the prize money equally.
Atwood also won the award in 2000, for the novel The blind assassin.