Three men and three women vying for the Booker Prize announced on Wednesday

The prestigious British literary prize Booker Prize will be chosen Wednesday, November 3 among six finalists whose novels evoke subjects as diverse as apartheid in South Africa, social networks or the civil war in Sri Lanka.

The six works by Patricia Lockwood, Richard Powers, Maggie Shipstead, Damon Galgut, Anuk Arudpragasam and Nadifa Mohamed were selected from 158 novels published in the United Kingdom or Ireland between October 1, 2020 and September 30, 2021.

Last year, the prize was awarded to the Scotsman Douglas Stuart for his first novel Shuggie Bain, set in a working class family in Glasgow plagued by alcoholism and poverty in the 1980s.

Among the latter, the first American novelist Patricia Lockwood, 39, is in the running for No One is talking About This, which follows the well-regulated life of an American addicted to social networks and somewhat by chance became an influencer. The narrator questions the immediacy and superficiality of the virtual world in which she lives, without succeeding in detaching herself from it.

Patricia Lockwood faces two compatriots: Maggie Shipstead, 38, for Great Circle, which takes readers through the intertwining journeys of a 20th century aviator and a 21st century Hollywood star and Richard Powers, 64, for Bewildermen (published under the title Sidetracks by Actes Sud in France), in which an astrobiologist escapes to fantastic worlds with his son suffering from behavioral disorders. Richard powers is in the Booker Prize final for the second time.

Among the favorites is South African novelist and playwright Damon Galgut, 57, who is in the final for the third time. Covering the period from the end of apartheid until the presidency of Jacob Zuma, his book, The Promise, traces the gradual dislocation of a white family in Pretoria as the country emerges towards democracy. The New Yorker called him “remarkable”, while South Africa’s Sunday Times ruled “amazing how much history Galgut manages to put into this short novel”.

The other finalists are the Sri Lankan writer Anuk Arudpragasam, 33, with A passage North, which evokes trauma and memories of the civil war in Sri Lanka and British-Somali woman Nadifa Mohamed, 40, for The Fortune Men, based on the true story of a Somali man wrongfully convicted and executed for the murder of a woman in Cardiff harbor in Wales in 1952.

The winner’s name will be announced at an event in London broadcast on the BBC on Wednesday evening. It will bring together all the finalists in person, after video conference appearances in the previous edition, due to restrictions linked to the coronavirus pandemic.

With this prize, a reward of 55,000 euros and the assurance of an international reputation synonymous with success in bookstores.

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Three men and three women vying for the Booker Prize announced on Wednesday