Claire Keegan among the six shortlisted authors for The Booker Prize
Claire Keegan is one of the six authors shortlisted for this year’s Booker Prize, for her novel Small Things Like These (Faber).
At 116 pages, her book is the shortest to be recognised in the prize’s history, and like many on the shortlist is based on real life events.
Judges described her novel as a ‘measured and merciless’ account of a Magdalene laundry.
Speaking on RTÉ news on Wednesday morning, Keegan said that although her novel is categorised as historical fiction, at fifty-four years old she feels it speaks to a contemporary society very much of our own making.
This current of real-life events informing the narrative continues in the shortlisted books, from the Sri Lankan civil war and the fall of Robert Mugabe to the murder of Emmett Till in the USA.
Proving the maxim that you’re not too old and it’s not too late, the six authors selected include the oldest author ever to be shortlisted.
Alan Garner who is on the shortlist with Treacle Walker (4th Estate), will celebrate his 88th birthday on the night of the award’s ceremony.
This year, half of the list is published by independent publishers, including first time appearances from Influx Press and Sort of Books.
Glory, by NoViolet Bulawayo
Small Things Like These, by Claire Keegan
Treacle Walker, by Alan Garner
The Trees, by Percival Everett
The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida, by Shehan Karunatilaka
Oh William! by Elizabeth Strout