By JILL LAWLESS | The Associated Press
LONDON – Nobel laureate Kazuo Ishiguro and Pulitzer Prize winner Richard Powers are among the 13 authors competing for the prestigious Booker Prize for Fiction.
Britain’s Ishiguro, who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2017, is on the longlist announced on Tuesday for the £ 50,000 ($ 69,000) prize with ‘Klara and the Sun’, a novel about love and humanity told by an android powered by solar power. This is the fourth Booker nomination for Ishiguro, who won the 1989 award for ‘The Remains of the Day’.
The American author Powers is nominated for ‘Bewilderment’ about an astrobiologist and his neurodiversing son. Powers won the Pulitzer for fiction in 2019 for the eco-epic ‘The Overstory’, which was also a Booker Prize finalist.
Among the previous Booker candidates on this year’s list is South African Damon Galgut for his story of racism and reckoning, “The Promise”; British author Sunjeev Sahota for ‘China Room’, which travels between England and India; and Mary Lawson of Canada for her story of life in a northern city, ‘A Town Called Solace’.
The Booker Prize, established in 1969, has the reputation of changing writers’ careers and was originally open to British, Irish and Commonwealth writers. Suitability was extended in 2014 to all English novels published in the United Kingdom
Two American first novels are among this year’s candidates: Patricia Lockwood’s social media-saturated story “Nobody Talks About This” and Nathan Harris’ best-selling “The Sweetness of Water,” set in the American South at the end of the Civil War .
The list also includes “Great Circle” by American author Maggie Shipstead, British novelist Francis Spufford’s “Light Perpetual”, British / Somali author Nadifa Mohamed’s “The Fortune Men”, British / Canadian author Rachel Cusk’s “Second Place “, the South African novelist Karen Jennings’s” An Island “and” A Passage North “by Sri Lankan writer Anuk Arudpragasam.
Historian Maya Jasanoff, who chairs this year’s judging panel, said many of the novels’ consider how people struggle with the past – whether it’s personal experiences of sadness or disruption or the historical legacy of slavery, apartheid and civil war. . ‘
“Many explore intimate relationships that are put under stress, meditating on ideas of freedom and obligation, or on what makes us human,” she said. “It is particularly resonant during the pandemic to note that all of these books have important things to say about the nature of society, from the small and isolated to the immeasurable expansion of cyberspace.”
A shortlist of six books will be announced on 14 September and the winner will be crowned on 3 November during a ceremony in London.