Claire Keegan, Leila Mottley and Percival Everett are among 13 authors who made this year’s Booker Prize long list.
The £50,000 (C$77,467) Booker Prize is awarded annually to the best original novel written in English and published in the UK.
Keegan is shortlisted for Little things like these.
Little things like these explores themes of complicity and human decency. At 116 pages, it is the shortest book to be recognized in the history of the award.
Set in Ireland in the mid-1980s, Little things like these is a moving story about faith, forgiveness and the authority of the Catholic Church. The book’s protagonist, Bill Furlong, is faced with a moral dilemma when he discovers a shivering, tattered girl locked in the shed of a local convent.
Little things like these won the 2022 Orwell Prize for Political Fiction and was also a 2022 Rathbones Folio Award Finalist for Best Literary Work of the Year.
LISTEN | Claire Keegan on Writers and Company:
Writers and Company1:05:50Small Things Like These by Claire Keegan is a story of moral crisis, heroism and the human heart
Keegan is the Irish author of award-winning short fiction, including two storybooks, Antarctic and Walk through the blue fields.
Mottley is in the running for his first novel, Crawl.
Crawl is a novel about race, class and economic insecurity. The novel follows Kiara and her brother Marcus, who live in a rundown apartment complex in East Oakland.
One night, what begins as a drunken misunderstanding with a stranger turns into a job that Kiara never imagined she wanted but desperately needs: night shifts or prostitution.
Mottley is an American author based in California. She was the winner of the 2018 Oakland Youth Poet Laureate and her work has been featured in The New York Times and Oprah Daily.
She is the youngest author ever to be shortlisted for the Booker Prize.
Everett is shortlisted for the novel Trees.
Trees is Everett’s 22nd novel. Following a series of brutal murders in the rural town of Money, Mississippi, two detectives from the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation arrive only to encounter resistance and a series of racist white townspeople.
As similar murders occur across the country, detectives suspect the murders are a wave of retaliation for Emmett Till and the brutal legacy of lynching in the American South.
LISTEN | Percival Everett on Writers and Company:
Writers and Company1:00:29Percival Everett’s The Trees imagines a world where the horrors of lynching are avenged
Everett is an American writer based in Los Angeles and professor of English at the University of Southern California. As well as having written over 30 books, he is also an accomplished visual artist and worked for 12 years training horses and mules.
The complete long list of 13 books is:
The 13 books in this year’s longlist were selected from 169 novels published between October 1, 2021 and September 30, 2022 and submitted to the prize by publishers.
“The 13 books, of course, reflect – and reflect on – our planet’s concerns over the past few years. Unsurprisingly, in the wake of the pandemic, they explain how we imagine disease as a living enemy to be fought on a daily basis. base, issues of racial and gender injustice and the fragility of the political order,” Jury President Neil MacGregor said in a press release.
The 2022 jury is made up of cultural historian, writer and broadcaster Neil MacGregor, academic and broadcaster Shahidha Bari, historian Helen Castor, novelist and critic Mr John Harrison and novelist, poet and professor Alain Mabanckou .
The shortlist of six titles will be announced on September 6, 2022. The winner will be announced on October 17, 2022.
Since 2013, authors of any nationality are eligible. No Canadians were recognized for the 2022 prize. Canadian authors Mary Lawson and Rachel Cusk were on the Booker Prize longlist in 2021.
Margaret Atwood shared the 2019 award with British novelist Bernardine Evaristo. Atwood has been recognized for her novel The Willsand Evaristo for his novel Girl, Woman, Other. They shared the prize equally.