Eight first works, 13 American authors in the long list of the Booker Prize

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LONDON: Best-selling British novelist Hilary Mantel and American author Anne Tyler are among 13 writers on a US-dominated list of contenders for the prestigious Booker Prize for fiction.

Mantel was named among the contestants for the 50,000-pound ($ 63,000) literary prize on Tuesday for “The Mirror and the Light,” the third installment in his trilogy about Tudor power broker Thomas Cromwell. She won the Booker for her two predecessors, “Wolf Hall” and “Bring up the Bodies”.

American contenders include Tyler for “Redhead by the Side of the Road”, Diane Cook for “The New Wilderness”, Avni Doshi for “Burnt Sugar”, Kiley Reid for “Such a Fun Age”, Brandon Taylor for “Real Life And C. Pam Zhang for “How many of these hills are gold”.

British writers on the list are Gabriel Krauze for “Who They Was”, Douglas Stuart for “Shuggie Bain” and Sophie Ward for “Love and Other Thought Experiments”. by Irishman Colum McCann; “ This Mournable Boy ” by Tsitsi Dangarembga from Zimbabwe and “ The Shadow King ” by Ethiopian-American writer Maaza Mengiste.

The prize, subject to intense speculation and a flurry of betting, usually brings the winner a huge increase in sales and profile.

Eight of the nominees are early novels, an unusually high number for the price. The literary director of the award, Gaby Wood, said it was “heartwarming to know that some writers who launched their careers amid COVID-19 may now have the chance to reach the readers they deserve.”

Founded in 1969, the award is open to English-language writers from around the world, but until 2014 only British, Irish and Commonwealth writers were eligible.

This year’s change has raised concerns among some Britons that it will become a US dominated price. It hasn’t happened yet. Since then, there have been two US winners, Paul Beatty’s “ The Sellout ” in 2016 and George Saunders’ “ Lincoln in the Bardo ” in 2017.

A shortlist of six books will be announced on September 15, and the Booker winner will be revealed in November.


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