Heads up, book nerds. The 2015 Man Booker Prize shortlist is out now, and it has a few surprises. Ready to find out? The biggest jaw-dropper on the shortlist is the absence of Lila, which has already won the National Book Critics Circle Award. To say that author Marilynne Robinson's elimination comes as a surprise is an understatement. According to The Guardian, Robinson has previously "won the Pulitzer, the Orange prize and a National Humanities Medal presented by Barack Obama."
This is the second year U.S. authors have been eligible to win the Man Booker. Prior to 2013, the prize was only available to authors from the British Commonwealth, Ireland, and Zimbabwe. Only two U.K. authors — Tom McCarthy and Sunjeev Sahota — made the six-slot shortlist for 2015. Of the remaining writers, two are from the U.S.; Jamaica and Nigeria each have one author in representation.
Here are the finalists:
- Satin Island by Tom McCarthy. In the not-too-distant future, a "corporate anthropologist" named U. must write a Great Report: a broad and deep history of the modern era.
- A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James. In this fictionalized account, James explores the 1976 attack on Bob Marley's household by seven unidentified gunmen.
- A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler. This is the story of the Whitshank family's first four generations of Americans.
- The Year of the Runaways by Sunjeev Sahota. This gripping novel follows 13 Indian immigrants who come to live together, out of a variety of circumstances and without papers, in a single home in Sheffield.
- A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara. Four young men move to the big city to follow their dreams, but find their bonds tested by one friend's dark past.
- The Fishermen by Chigozie Obioma. Nine-year-old Benjamin narrates this debut novel set in 1990s Nigeria, which follows four siblings haunted by the prediction that one of them will kill his brother.
The five Man Booker judges will announce their 2015 winner on October 13. Get your guesses in now!
Image: Jean-Etienne Minh-Duy Poirrier/Flickr