Shortlist for Booker Prize for Fiction revealed

Mohammed Saad , Thursday 16 Sep 2021

The six shortlisted novels explore life, memory, and trauma in the wake of various events and phenomena

Booker Prize 2021
The six shortlisted novels for the Booker Prize. Booker Prize

The shortlist for the Booker Prize for Fiction has been revealed on Tuesday 14 September, and it includes six novels that explore, love, trauma, and human loss.

The shortlist includes Sri Lankan Anuk Arudpragasam’s ‘A Passage North’ (Granta Books, Granta Publications), South African Damon Galgut’s ‘The Promise’ (Chatto & Windus, Vintage, PRH), American Patricia Lockwood’s ‘No One is Talking About This’ (Bloomsbury Circus, Bloomsbury Publishing), British Somali Nadifa Mohamed’s ‘The Fortune Men’ (Viking, Penguin General, PRH), American Richard Powers’ ‘Bewilderment’ (Heinemann Hutchinson, PRH), and American Maggie Shipstead’s ‘Great Circle’ (Doubleday, Transworld Publishers, PRH).

The novels were chosen from a pool of 158 novels published in the UK or Ireland between 1 October 2020 and 30 September 2021.

The Booker Prize for Fiction is open to works by writers of any nationality written in English and published in the UK or Ireland. 

The shortlist was revealed on Tuesday by the 2021 Chair of Judges Maya Jasanoff in a live online celebration, chaired by BBC arts correspondent Rebecca Jones. 

The winning book will be revealed during the prize ceremony at the BBC Radio Theatre on 3 November.

The winner will receive £50,000 in addition to the £2,500 awarded to each of the six shortlisted authors. Both the winner and the shortlisted authors are guaranteed a global readership and can expect a dramatic increase in book sales.

The six shortlisted novels explore life, memory, and trauma in the wake of various events and phenomena, such as Sri Lanka amid its 30-year civil war; Pretoria during South Africa’s transition out of apartheid and the undoing of a white South African family; the absurdities of our relentless exposure to social media when faced with the reality of human loss; the real-life battle against conspiracy, prejudice, and wrongful conviction of a Somali seaman; the intense and moving love a father has for his troubled son as he pursues experimental neurological therapy; and the enthralling, interwoven stories of two women across decades.

The six books were chosen by the 2021 panel of judges, which includes historian Maya Jasanoff as the chairperson, writer and editor Horatia Harrod, actor Natascha McElhone, twice Booker-shortlisted novelist and professor Chigozie Obioma, and writer and former Archbishop Rowan Williams.

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