LONDON (AP) — Novels that explore historical injustices, the nature of consciousness and the dizzying impact of the internet are among six finalists for the prestigious Booker Prize for fiction.
Three books by American authors are on the shortlist announced Tuesday for the 50,000-pound ($69,000) prize: Patricia Lockwood’s social media-steeped novel “No One is Talking About This;” Maggie Shipstead’s aviator saga “Great Circle;” and Richard Powers’ “Bewilderment,” the story of an astrobiologist and his neurodivergent son.
Powers won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 2019 for the eco-epic “The Overstory,” which was also a 2018 Booker Prize finalist.
Three other contenders explore historical traumas. They include Sri Lankan author Anuk Arudpragasam’s tale of war and its aftermath, “A Passage North;” South African writer Damon Galgut’s story of racism and reckoning, “The Promise;” and British/Somali writer Nadifa Mohamed’s miscarriage-of-justice story “The Fortune Men,” set among dockers in the 1950s in Cardiff, the capital of Wales.
Historian Maya Jasanoff, who is chairing the judging panel, said the shortlist was immersive, global and “engages with matters of life and death, which feels quite poignant and pertinent in this catastrophic year.”
Founded in 1969, the Booker Prize has a reputation for transforming writers’ careers and was originally open to British, Irish and Commonwealth writers. Eligibility was expanded in 2014 to all novels in English published in the U.K.
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