Man Booker 2018 longlist includes Michael Ondaatje and first-ever graphic novel | Books | DW | 24.07.2018
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Man Booker 2018 longlist includes Michael Ondaatje and first-ever graphic novel

Nick Drnaso's dystopian graphic novel Sabrina joins 12 other works by six British, two US, two Canadian and two Irish writers on the longlist for the 2018 Man Booker Prize. The Golden Man Booker winner is also featured.

A work exploring the contemporary "fake news" phenomenon is the first graphic novel longlisted for the annual Man Booker Prize for fiction. Nick Drnaso's Sabrina is being promoted by the publisher as "a landmark graphic novel about a missing woman, a viral video and the horrors of fake news."

Chosen from 171 submissions, the longlisted books also include Warlight by Canadian Michael Ondaatje (pictured above), who earlier this month was awarded a Golden Man Booker for the best work of fiction from 50 years of the prize for his celebrated work, The English Patient.

The list also includes four debut novels in addition to well known American novelist, Rachel Kushner, a National Book Award finalist in 2013 for The Flamethrowers (2013).

"Some of those we have chosen for this longlist feel urgent and topical, others might have been admired and enjoyed in any year," said Kwame Anthony Appiah, the chair of the judges.

"All of these books - which take in slavery, ecology, missing persons, inner-city violence, young love, prisons, trauma, race — capture something about a world on the brink," Appiah said.

American author George Saunders took home the prize in 2017 for Lincoln in the Bardo.

A bearded man holds up a book

US short story writer George Saunders won the Man Booker Prize in 2017 for his first novel

Capturing a "world on the brink" 

Written by a 29-year-old Chicago-based cartoonist and illustrator, Sabrina signifies the broadening scope of the literary fiction genre. 

"Given the changing shape of fiction, it was only a matter of time before a graphic novel was included on the Man Booker longlist," said the judges, who also praised Drnaso's ability "to express an idea about what's invisible — an idea about uncertainty, and the different kinds of holes that missing people leave in our lives."

Read morePolish novelist Olga Tokarczuk wins Man Booker International Prize for translated novel 'Flights'

The six finalists will be announced on September 20, with the winner to be awarded on October 16 at a black-tie dinner at London's Guildhall.

The winner receives 50,000 pounds (€56,000).

sb/ss (dpa, AP)

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