Anna Burns, Esi Edugyan, Daisy Johnson, Rachel Kushner, Richard Powers and Robin Robertson were announced as the six authors shortlisted for the 2018 Man Booker Prize for Fiction.
Their names were announced by 2018 Chair of judges, Kwame Anthony Appiah, at a press conference at the offices of Man Group, the prize’s sponsor. He remarked that each of these novels is a miracle of stylistic invention in which the language takes centre stage.
The Man Booker Prize is open to writers of any nationality writing in English and published in the UK and Ireland. This year’s shortlist recognises three writers from the UK, two from the US, and one from Canada.
Here are a few lesser known facts about the Man Booker 2018 shortlisted authors:
- At 27, Daisy Johnson is the youngest author ever to make the shortlist for her novel Everything Under, beating 2013 winner Eleanor Catton to the record.
- Esi Edugyan, author of Washington Black, is the only 2018 contender to have been shortlisted previously (Half-Blood Blues, 2011).
- Richard Powers, who was longlisted in 2014 (Orfeo), was inspired to write The Overstory by an ancient tree in California’s Santa Cruz mountain range.
- Rachel Kushner spent time in US prisons to research The Mars Room, a gritty tale told from the perspective of a former lap-dancer serving two life sentences in an American women’s jail.
- Anna Burns’ Milkman draws on the experience of Northern Ireland during the Troubles. Her first novel, No Bones, was also set in this period, and was shortlisted for the 2002 Orange Prize for Fiction (now the Women’s Prize).
- Robin Robertson, the author of The Long Take — the first novel in verse, with photographs, to be in contention for the prize — is also the editor of Michael Ondaatje’s Warlight, which was longlisted this year.