ManBooker Prize Shortlist 2018

Shortlisted for this year’s award are two books from Jonathan Cape (Vintage) – Everything Under by Daisy Johnson and The Mars Room by Rachel Kushner – and one from William Heinemann (Cornerstone) – The Overstory by Richard Powers

A special mention should also go to Robin Robertson, Deputy Publishing Director at Jonathan Cape, whose debut novel in verse The Long Take (Picador) is also nominated.

Completing this year’s shortlist are Milkman by Anna Burns (Faber & Faber) and Washington Black by Esi Edugyan (Profile Books).

Penguin Random House authors Belinda Bauer (Snap), Sophie Mackintosh (The Water Cure), Michael Ondaatje (Warlight) and Donal Ryan (From a Low and Quiet Sea) made the longlist, but were not included in the shortlist.

About our three shortlisted books and authors

Everything Under, Daisy Johnson’s debut novel, turns a classical myth on its head and takes readers to a modern-day England unfamiliar to most. As daring as it is moving, Everything Under is a story of family and identity, of fate, language, love and belonging that leaves you unsettled and unstrung. Described by Lauren Groff as “a new goddamn swaggering monster of fiction”, Daisy is also the winner of the Harper's Bazaar Short Story Prize, the A.M. Heath Prize and the Edge Hill Short Story Prize.

Ana Fletcher, Senior Editor at Jonathan Cape, on Everything Under: “It’s wonderful to see Daisy Johnson’s debut novel shortlisted. Everything Under is driven by the boldest of plots – a transgressive retelling of a classical myth – and bursting with ideas: about memory and the collective imagination, about family, motherhood and identity. Daisy’s writing on the natural world is extraordinary, and I couldn’t be happier that so many new readers will be introduced to one of the most exciting emerging voices in British fiction.”

Through a cast of astonishing characters populating The Mars Room, Rachel Kushner presents not just a bold and unsentimental panorama of life on the margins of contemporary America, but an excoriating attack on the prison-industrial complex. The New York Times bestseller has been described as “an unforgettable novel” (Daily Telegraph), and “more knowing about prison life [than Orange Is The New Black]…so powerful” (New York Times). Rachel is a two-time finalist of the National Book Award and her fiction has appeared in the New Yorker, Harper’s and the Paris Review.

Michal Shavit, Publishing Director at Jonathan Cape, on The Mars Room: “A gripping, heartbreaking and truth filled novel about what it is to live and love under incarceration. A damning portrait of modern day America and injustice on an epic scale with a cast of characters that will stay with you forever. The Mars Room confirms Rachel Kushner as one of the most exciting and important writers on the world stage.”

The Overstory by Richard Powers is monumental novel about trees, unfolding in concentric rings of interlocking fables that range from antebellum New York to the late twentieth-century Timber Wars of the Pacific Northwest and beyond. The book has garnered praise around the world, with author Tim Winton describing it as a “masterpiece”, while Ann Patchett has called it” the best novel ever written about trees, and really, just one of the best novels, period.” Richard Powers is the author of twelve novels, including Orfeo, which was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2014.

Jason Arthur, Publisher of William Heinemann, Hutchinson and Windmill, said: “I have long believed Richard Powers to be one of the great novelists of our age, so it is an utter joy to see the inclusion of The Overstory on this year’s Man Booker shortlist. Undoubtedly many more readers will now discover this enormously talented writer, and I envy those who will be further compelled to read this magisterial novel because of the Man Booker Prize nomination.”

About the Man Booker Prize

First awarded in 1969, the Man Booker Prize is seen as the leading prize for literary fiction written in English, and this is the fifth year that the prize has been open to writers of any nationality, writing in English and published in the UK. Each of the shortlisted authors receives £2,500 and the winner will receive a further £50,000.

This year’s prize is judged by novelist and academic Kwame Anthony Appiah (Chair); award-winning Scottish crime writer Val McDermid; journalist and critic Leo Robson; academic and writer Jacqueline Rose; and artist and graphic novelist Leanne Shapton.

Over the next month the six shortlisted authors will come together to tell the fascinating stories behind their books at events in Sheffield and Cheltenham, as well as an evening of readings and conversation around their novels at Royal Festival Hall in London in October.

The winner of the Man Booker Prize 2018 will be announced on Tuesday 16th October at a ceremony in London. For more information, visit the Man Booker Prize website

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