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  • Why in News?
  • Anna Burns has become the first Northern Irish author to win the Man Booker prize, taking the £50,000 award for Milkman, her timely, Troubles-set novel about a young woman being sexually harassed by a powerful man.

Other novels which get Finalised:

  • The novels selected for this year’s shortlist reflected a preoccupation with dark times and apocalyptic themes like ecological destruction, slavery and mass incarceration.
  •  Finalists included the Canadian author Esi Edugyan’s “Washington Black,” about a boy who flees a slave plantation in Barbados and becomes an apprentice of sorts to his master’s adventurous brother; Ms. Kushner’s “The Mars Room,” set in a women’s prison in California; and Mr. Powers’s inventive environmental epic “The Overstory,” about a quest to save one of the world’s last areas of virgin forest, in which the trees are the novel’s real protagonists.
  •  Judges also recognized unconventional literary forms this year, including, for the first time, a graphic novel by Nick Drnaso, titled “Sabrina,” which made the longlist but was not among the finalists. “The Long Take,” a genre-defying noir-tinged novel in verse by the Scottish poet Robin Robertson that unfolds in verse, prose and photographs, made the shortlist.

About man booker Prize:

  • First awarded in 1969, the Booker is one of the literary world’s most prestigious and lucrative prizes. The winner receives 50,000 pounds, or about $65,000, and typically sees a big boost in book sales.
  •  In 2014, the prize was opened to any novel written in English and published in Britain (it was previously limited to writers from Britain, Ireland, Zimbabwe and Commonwealth countries), and some prominent writers have argued that the rules change has diluted the impact of the prize.
  •  Fears that the Booker would become “Americanized” were borne out to a degree in recent years, after the prize went to American authors for two consecutive years — to George Saunders in 2017, for “Lincoln in the Bardo,” and to Paul Beatty in 2016, for “The Sellout.” Earlier this year, the Rathbones Folio Academy, a literary society with prominent members such as Margaret Atwood, J.M. Coetzee and Peter Carey, insisted that the change be reversed.
  •  This year’s crop of finalists included two American novelists, three writers from the United Kingdom and one from Canada.
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