The Booker Prize, an award given to the best novel written in English, has announced the short list of finalists spanning over five countries and four continents. Moving on to the final round are American authors Percival Everett for The Trees and Elizabeth Strout for Oh William! The satire novel The Trees examines racism against African Americans in small-town Money, Mississippi, the same town where Emmett Till was lynched in 1955. Two Black detectives investigate a number of deaths in Money that mirror the murder of Till. Previous winners of the prestigious literary award have included Margaret Atwood and George Saunders.
While the literary honor originated in England and previously only was awarded to writers from Britain, Ireland, the Commonwealth, and Zimbabwe, the committee expanded the eligibility to all novels written in the English language in 2014 as long as the book was published in Britain or Ireland. One-third of all finalists have been American since the eligibility change, including this year’s shortlist.
The complete shortlist is below:
NoViolet Bulawayo’s Glory
Percival Everett’s The Trees
Alan Garner’s Treacle Walker
Shehan Karunatilaka’s The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida
Claire Keegan’s Small Things Like These
Elizabeth Strout’s Oh William!