Need help? Call us 0800 032 9366
Take a glance at this year’s Booker Prize nominees

Take a glance at this year’s Booker Prize nominees

Tuesday 02 November 2021

The Booker Prize for Fiction nominations this year featured an eclectic variety of authors and stories, whose tales have intrigued readers and critics the world over. As we cover the carefully shortlisted texts, we will be asking two questions:

Have you read any of these novels this year? Which novel did you find the most interesting to learn about?

A Passage North, by Anuk Arudpragasam

The first novel on the shortlist is A Passage North by Anuk Arudpragasam. This captures the aftermath of the destruction of the Sri Lankan civil war, but in Arudpragasam’s own words “A Passage North is more about witnessing violence from afar than it is about experiencing it up close”. Self-discovery and the battles of psychological trauma are uncovered through detail-oriented and creative prose, as the main character Krishan journeys across the novel.

Bewilderment by Richard Powers

Richard Powers’ latest novel reflects many traits of our modern struggles. Loss, anxiety, and loneliness encounter the reader, as the astrobiologist Theo Byrne deals with a world succumbing to natural and unnatural forces, while managing the death of his wife and the protection of his young son. A moving story, this novel also grapples not with a world confronting climate change, but rather one that has almost lost this battle already, suggesting a gloomy future for those of us who do not heed our warnings.

No One Is Talking About This by Patricia Lockwood

Patricia Lockwood’s debut novel is an emotionally charged take on the conflict between lives in virtual worlds and physical worlds. In No One Is Talking About This, a “social media guru” encounters the pressures of an online presence, after one of her social media posts gains significant popularity very quickly. ‘The Portal’ (their version of the internet) quickly captures her attention to greater and greater degrees, affecting all parts of her life until the physical world reminds her what and where she really is.

Great Circle by Maggie Shipstead

Great Circle is a fictional account of two parallel women - a daredevil aviator written into the 1950s, and a modern filmmaker trying to tell the story of this aviator’s life more than fifty years later. Not only is this fascinating text about women undertaking great risks, but the comparisons of these women’s lives have been widely praised by critics. Injustice, struggle, and willpower combine in an exciting maelstrom of progress and adventure.

The Fortune Men by Nadifa Mohamed

Perhaps the most harrowing we’ve seen this year text nominated this year was The Fortune Men. Nadifa Mohammed’s novel is a fictional retelling of the last death by hanging in Cardiff, which was carried out unjustly against Mahmood Mattan in 1952. Part of the tragedy of this tale, is the fact its victim suffered multiple abuses throughout a difficult life, which resulted in an unjust trial and punishment, for a crime we now know he did not commit. This novel is not for the faint of heart, but it is certainly a paper-bound package of insight, consideration, and enlightenment.

The Promise by Damon Galgut

The final text, and this year’s deserved winner has been a marvel, and its critical attention has been well deserved. South Africa’s socio-political history will always be a fascinating read, but The Promise by Damon Galgut goes on to illustrate the complex internal divides even within families, situated within a wider historico-cultural conflict. The novel covers a family history through four funerals, in four decades. Each time there is a different milieu and political struggle underlying the momentum of the text, and it requires a master craftsman to balance broken promises, with social change in oppressive environments.

It goes without saying that all these texts have been marvellous achievements. The Booker prize rewards writers’ ingenuity and creativity, as they build the foundations that future artistry will account for, be inspired by, and draw from. We are fortunate to live in such a time as this, where so many writers can create the otherworldly written portals, which allow us to lose ourselves in other worlds, and care deeply for imagined loved ones.

Interviews with each author:

  1. Anuk Arudpragasam.
  2. Richard Powers.
  3. Maggie Shipstead.
  4. Patricia Lockwood.
  5. Nadifa Mohamed.
  6. Damon Galgut.


Literary News

◄ Blog Home

Subscribe to our email newsletter and claim your FREE copy of our popular guide '9 Top Tips to Save Your Sight'


Post a comment…