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.
The judging panel winnowed their list from 158 novels. Some of the highest-profile novels of the year didn't make the cut, most notably Nobel literature laureate Kazuo Ishiguro's "Klara and the Sun," which had featured on the 13-book longlist. Ishiguro is a four-time Booker nominee and won the prize in 1989 for "The Remains of the Day."
Other highly praised works on the longlist that fell by the wayside include British novelist Francis Spufford's "Light Perpetual" and British/Canadian writer Rachel Cusk's "Second Place."
Only one British writer, Mohamed, made the final six, a fact likely to spark debate in the U.K. about whether the prize is becoming U.S.-dominated.
"The Booker Prize is the great leveler," said Nigerian writer Chigozie Obioma one of the judges. "If we don't have any British writers, it is just a coincidence. We are not making any statement."
The winner will be crowned Nov. 3 at a ceremony in London.
- Saunders' 'Lincoln in the Bardo' wins Man Booker Prize
- Potter power
- Giller 2019: Bezmozgis, Ohlin, Crummey to vie for $100K fiction prize
- "Wolf Hall" and the burden of wielding power in hellish times
- R.I.P. author Philip Roth
- Best PC Power Supplies for Gaming 
- Kazuo Ishiguro wins Nobel Prize for Literature
- Booker, experts discuss devastating toll of evictions
- Cory Booker releases plan to reduce child poverty; Joe Biden has gun control plan
- Romanian-born author Herta Mueller wins 2009 Nobel literature prize
- Doris Lessing receives Nobel Prize
- Gov. Paterson scandal: New allegations swirl that state troopers broke rules to help powerful pols
- Memphis photographer William Eggleston releases album; author Stanley Booth returns to Stax, and more
- Professor Obama goes to war: President's deep discomfort with U.S. power hurts our chances in Libya
- Al and Tipper Gore: From senior prom to Nobel Peace Prize, the timeline of a 40-year marriage
- Mario Vargas Llosa from Peru wins Nobel prize for literature
- A politician who knew how to power dress
- 'Big Brother' winner Adam Jasinski confesses using $500,000 prize to buy oxycodone pills to resell
- Never forget: Holocaust survivor, Nobel Peace Prize winner warns against drugs that erase memory
- Holocaust survivor, Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel warns against drugs that erase memory
US authors Lockwood, Powers, Shipstead up for Booker Prize have 648 words, post on www.independent.co.uk at September 14, 2021. This is cached page on Law Breaking News. If you want remove this page, please contact us.