LONDON — A Zimbabwean author who had been detained during anti-government protests is one of six finalists declared Tuesday on a varied collection of contenders for the prestigious Booker Prize for fiction.
Tsitsi Dangarembga was nominated for its 50,000-pound ($64,000) award for”This Mournable Body,” that joins the breakdown of its fundamental character and chaos at post-colonial Zimbabwe.
The Booker record this season is dominated by publications from U.S.-based writers, such as”The Shadow King” from Ethiopia-born Maaza Mengiste, Diane Cook’s dystopian narrative”The New Wilderness,” Avni Doshi’s India-set”Burnt Sugar” and Brandon Taylor’s campus book”Real Life.”
Just one British author cut to get the U.K.’s top publication decoration: Douglas Stuart to get”Shuggie Bain,” the story of a boy in 1980s Glasgow. Stuart, also, is U.S.-based — he’s lived in New York for several years.
The winner will be shown Nov. 17, although the conventional black-tie dinner service in London’s medieval Guildhall was scrapped due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Launched in 1969, the decoration is available to English-language authors from all over the world, but until 2014 only British, Irish and Commonwealth authors were entitled.
This year alter sparked fears among several Britons it would develop into a U.S-dominated decoration. That has not happened, however. There were two American champions, Paul Beatty’s”The Sellout” in 2016 and George Saunders'”Lincoln at the Bardo” in 2017.
The decoration’s literary manager, Gaby Wood, stated she wasn’t worried by the shortage of British novelists on the shortlist. She explained to readers”do not look at passports.”
The decoration, subject to extreme speculation along with a flurry of betting, generally attracts the victor a massive increase in profile and sales.
Mantel won the Booker for its predecessors, “Wolf Hall” and”Bring the Bodies” and was widely tipped to get the third success.
Thriller author Lee Child, among the judges, stated Mantel’s publication was”an amazing book”
“But as great as it had been, there were a few books which were better,” he explained.