We continue to give you a brief summary of the remaining Booker Prize nominations.
The 13 nominations will be narrowed down to a shortlist of six books which will be announced on 15 September, with the £50,000-prize winning author being revealed in November.
Kiley Reid – Such a Fun Age
Such a Fun Age is a 2019 novel by Kiley Reid. It is her debut novel and was published by G. P. Putnam’s Sons. It tells the story of a young black woman who is wrongly accused of kidnapping while babysitting a child. The trouble starts when the white blogger Alix Chamberlain calls her African American babysitter, Emira, asking her to take toddler Briar to the local market for distraction. There, the security guard accuses Emira of kidnapping Briar, and Alix’s efforts to right the situation turn out to be good intentions selfishly mismanaged.
Brandon Taylor – Real Life
Real Life is the debut novel of Alabama-born American writer Brandon Taylor. Described as a campus novel and a coming of age novel, the partly autobiographical book tells of the experiences of a gay, Black doctoral student in a predominantly White, Midwestern PhD program. The novel is published by Riverhead Books.
Anne Tyler – Redhead by The Side of The Road
Micah Mortimer is a creature of habit. A self-employed tech expert, superintendent of his Baltimore apartment building, cautious to a fault behind the steering wheel, he seems content leading a steady, circumscribed life. But one day his routines are blown apart when his woman friend tells him she’s facing eviction, and a teenager shows up at Micah’s door claiming to be his son. These surprises, and the ways they throw Micah’s rigid life routine into chaos, risk changing him forever. An intimate look into the heart and mind of a man who finds those around him just out of reach. Redhead by The Side of The Road is published by Doubleday Canada.
Douglas Stuart – Shuggie Bain
Set in Glasgow at the outset of 1981 when the city is slowly dying and good families must grift to survive. Agnes Bain has always expected more from life. She dreams of greater things: a house with its own front door and a life bought and paid for outright. But Agnes is abandoned by her philandering husband, and soon she and her three children find themselves trapped in this mining town. As she descends deeper into drink, the children try their best to save her, yet one by one they must abandon her to save themselves. It is her son Shuggie who holds out hope the longest. Shuggie is different. The miners’ children pick on him and adults condemn him as no’ right. But Shuggie believes that if he tries his hardest, he can be normal like the other boys and help his mother escape this hopeless place. Douglas Stuart was born and raised in Glasgow. After graduating from the Royal College of Art in London, he moved to New York City, where he began a career in fashion design. Shuggie Bain is his first novel and is published by Pan Macmillan UK.
Sophie Ward – Love and Other Thought Experiments
Rachel and Eliza are hoping to have a baby. The couple spend many happy evenings together planning for the future. One night Rachel wakes up screaming and tells Eliza that an ant has crawled into her eye and is stuck there. She knows it sounds mad – but she also knows it’s true. As a scientist, Eliza won’t take Rachel’s fear seriously and they have a bitter fight. Suddenly their entire relationship is called into question. Love and Other Thought Experiments is published by Hachette UK.
C Pam Zhang – How Much of These Hills is Gold
Ba dies in the night, Ma is already gone. Lucy and Sam, twelve and eleven, are suddenly alone and on the run. With their father’s body on their backs, they roam an unforgiving landscape dotted with giant buffalo bones and tiger paw prints, searching for a place to give him a proper burial. How Much of These Hills is Gold is a tale of an unforgettable adventure of two siblings story and a story of a family bound and divided by its memories. How Much of These Hills is Gold is published by Hachette UK.