This prestigious literary prize, the British equivalent of Goncourt, is accessible to authors from all over the world, provided they write in English.
Eight authors of first novels have been shortlisted for the Booker Prize, the organizers of the prestigious British literary prize announced on Tuesday. They will compete with renowned feathers like Hilary Mantel and Tsitsi Dangarembga.
British novelist Hilary Mantel has twice won this prestigious literary prize created in 1969, the British equivalent of Goncourt, to which authors of all nationalities can compete as long as they write in English. It was Hilary Mantel’s third book on Thomas Cromwell, minister to King Henry VIII of England, which caught the attention of the five jurors. His bestsellers were adapted for television in the award-winning series “Wolf Hall”.
The famous Zimbabwean writer Tsitsi Dangarembga is among her competitors with the third volume of a trilogy, a sequel to “Nervous conditions” (“À fleur de peau” in the French version), on the journey of a young girl from Zimbabwe.
Thirteen authors in competition
In total, thirteen works were selected by a jury of five judges from among 162 novels published in the United Kingdom or Ireland between October 1, 2019 and September 30, 2020. Nine women are among the thirteen names selected.
More than half of the selected works are first novels, an “unusually high proportion,” noted Gaby Wood, literary director of the Booker Prize Foundation, quoted in a statement. The names of the six finalists will be announced on September 15, before the winner is chosen in November. As a result, a reward of 50,000 pounds (about 59,000 francs) and the assurance of international fame.
Besides Salman Rushdie and Margaret Atwood, among the already distinguished novelists are also Yann Martel, Kazuo Ishiguro and Julian Barnes. Last year, the prize was awarded jointly to Canadian writers Margaret Atwood and Anglo-Nigerian Bernardine Evaristo, respectively for “Les Testaments” and “Girl, Woman, Other”.
(ATS / NXP)