London — Patricia Lockwood, Richard Powers and Maggie Shipstead are one of the six novelists to be finalized this year for the Booker Prize, one of the world’s most prestigious literary awards.
Powers is the finalist of his novel “Confused” that a widowed astrobiologist is having a hard time caring for his son. Shipstead of “Great Circle”. An epic about a woman devoting her life to flight and a Hollywood actress trying to play her on the screen. “No one is talking about this,” Rockwood said of her debut novel, partly written on the internet.
Another author and book to create a candidate list, announced at an online press conference on Tuesday, is Anuk Arudpragasam of “A Passage North” on the death of a caregiver set against the backdrop of the Sri Lankan Civil War. Nadi Famohamed of “Fortune Men” about false accusations in Wales. Damon Galgut in “The Promise” about a white South African family after apartheid.
Some of the hottest novels of the year, including Kazuo Ishiguro’s “Clara and the Sun,” went on to 13 strong longlists in July, but weren’t included in the six finalists. bottom.
“This is a very difficult process,” said historian and Booker Prize Jury Chairman Maya Jasanoff on Tuesday when asked about books that weren’t on the candidate list. “What I can say is that every book is judged by its strengths.”
The six finalist novels seem to have little in common, but Jasanov said they all resonated in the year when many readers were forced to stay home due to the coronavirus pandemic. rice field.
The novel is immersive, she said — “a story you’re crazy about, a voice in your head, it feels like a good reflection of the experience you’ve read in the blockade.” Was also involved in the death, she added.
The Booker Prize is awarded annually to the best novels written in English and published in the UK or Ireland. In 2019, Bernardin Everist and Margaret Atwood shared the award, and Douglas Stuart won last year’s debut novel, Shuggie Bain, about gay children and alcoholic mothers in Scotland.
This year’s finalists were evenly divided into women and men. “The Promise” is Gargut’s third book, which has created a list of Booker Prize candidates, following “Ina Strange Room” in 2010 and “The Good Doctor” in 2003. “Bewilderment” is the finalist of “The Overview” in 2018.
Three of the finalists are American and only one is British, which can cause astonishment in some parts of the United Kingdom. In 2018, writers such as Zadie Smith and Ian McEwan called on the Booker Prize Foundation to overturn the 2014 decision to award novels written in English and published in the United Kingdom. Previously, it was limited to British, Irish, Zimbabwe, and federal writers.
Gaby Wood, director of the Booker Prize Foundation, said on Tuesday that he thought it was not appropriate to revert the prize to the previous rules. Especially because it is based on the boundaries of the former British empire. “It doesn’t seem like the conversation we should have,” she said.
“It is very noteworthy that in the 21st century people talked of the former British Empire as a suitable container for thinking about literature,” added Jasanov.
Judges will re-read the finalists before deciding on the winner, which will be announced at the ceremony in London on November 3rd. The author receives £ 50,000, about $ 69,000.
The candidate list is as follows: