Man Booker Prize names six stylistic inventors in shortlist

World | 16 Oct 2018 6:30 pm

The Man Booker Prize is set to be awarded to one of six finalists, including a gritty story set in a women's prison, a novel in verse about a divided America and an environmental epic that has been likened to "Moby Dick'' for trees.

The chair of the judges, Kwame Anthony Appiah, said: "All of our six finalists are miracles of stylistic invention. In each of them the language takes center stage. And yet in every other respect they are remarkably diverse, exploring a multitude of subjects ranging across space and time. From Ireland to California, in Barbados and the Arctic, they inhabit worlds that not everyone will have been to, but which we can all be enriched by getting to know. Each one explores the anatomy of pain — among the incarcerated and on a slave plantation, in a society fractured by sectarian violence, and even in the natural world. But there are also in each of them moments of hope.

"These books speak very much to our moment, but we believe that they will endure. And we look forward to re-reading all of them as we make our way towards what will inevitably be the very difficult choice of only one of these brilliantly imaginative works as this year's winner of the Man Booker Prize.’'

U.S. novelist Rachel Kushner's "The Mars Room,'' U.K. poet Robin Robertson's "The Long Take'' and American writer Richard Powers' "The Overstory'' are competing for the US$66,000 prize with a reputation for transforming writers' careers.

The other contenders are "Washington Black,'' the saga of an escaped slave by Canada's Esi Edugyan; Northern Ireland writer Anna Burns' Troubles-set "Milkman''; and "Everything Under'' by 27-year-old British writer Daisy Johnson, who would be the youngest-ever Booker winner.

The winner will be announced next Tuesday at London's medieval Guildhall.-AP/The Standard

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