The long list of the Booker Prize is revealed

LONDON – Kazuo Ishiguro, Rachel Cusk and Richard Powers are among the literary heavyweights vying for the 2021 Booker Prize, it was announced here on Tuesday.

Ishiguro, who won the British Literary Prize in 1989 for ‘The Leftovers of the Day’, his novel about a butler who works for a Nazi sympathizer, was nominated this year for ‘Klara and the Sun’, about a 14-year-old . girl who gets a humanoid machine companion to help relieve her loneliness.

The Booker Prize judges, who are led by historian Maya Jasanoff, were unequivocal in believing the novel deserved a place on the list of the prize’s 13 nominees. “What stays with you in ‘Klara and the Sun’ is the haunting narrative voice – a genuinely innocent and egoless perspective on the bizarre behavior of humans obsessed and hurt by power, status and fear,” the panel said. in a press release announcing the nominees.

Ishiguro’s novel will compete for the prize against Powers’ upcoming “Perplexity”, over a widowed astrobiologist struggling to care for her 9-year-old son, and Cusk’s “Second Place”, over a marriage that is disrupted when the woman invites a famous painter to stay.

The Booker Prize is awarded annually to the best novel written in English and published in Great Britain or Ireland. This year, four of the nominated writers are American, and the 13 shortlisted novels stand out for the diversity of their subject matter and tone. The list also includes Maggie Shipstead’s “Great Circle”, about a woman who devotes her life to flight and an actress ready to play it on screen, and Francis Spufford’s “Light Perpetual”, which follows the lives of five children afterwards. that they ended up in a WWII bombing raid.

Several of the nominees focus on race, such as “The Promise” by Damon Galgut, on a white family in post-apartheid South Africa, and “The Fortune Men” by Nadifa Mohamed, in which a miscarriage of justice in the Country 1950s Wales sees an Anglo-Somali man hanged for the murder of a white trader. Mohamed’s book won praise here. “‘The Fortune Men’ can be read as a commentary on 21st century Britain and its ever-troubled legacy of empire, but also as a fiction in its own right – teeming with life, character and humor,” wrote Catherine Taylor in the Financial Times.

The award is as well known for creating literary stars in Britain as it is for being awarded to established names. Douglas Stuart won last year for his debut novel “Shuggie Bain”, about a gay child in the 1980s in Glasgow with an alcoholic mother, while in 2019 Bernardine Evaristo shared the prize for “Girl, Woman, Other “with Margaret Atwood for” The Testaments “. “

This year’s jury includes novelist Chigozie Obioma and Rowan Williams, the former Archbishop of Canterbury.

All of the books have “important things to say about the nature of community, from the tiny and isolated expanse to the immeasurable expanse of cyberspace,” Jasanoff said in the press release. This theme resonated with the judges due to the isolation of the pandemic, she added, which forced them to read many books during the lockdowns.

The judges will now reread the 13 books before narrowing them down to a list of six to be announced on September 14. The winner, who will receive a prize of 50,000 pounds, or approximately $ 69,000, will be announced at a ceremony in London on November 3.

The full long list is:

  • Anuk Arudpragasam, “A Passage to the North”

  • Rachel Cusk, “Second place”

  • Damon Galgut, “The Promise”

  • Nathan Harris, “The Softness of the Water”

  • Kazuo Ishiguro, “Klara and the sun”

  • Karen Jennings, “An Island”

  • Mary Lawson, “A Town Called Comfort”

  • Patricia Lockwood, “Nobody’s Talking About It”

  • Nadifa Mohamed, “Men of Fortune”

  • Richard Powers, “Perplexity”

  • Sunjeev Sahota, “House of China”

  • Maggie Shipstead, “Grand Cercle”

  • Francis Spufford, “Perpetual Light”


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