Anna Burns, Esi Edugyan among four women shortlisted for Man Booker 2018

Brenda Watkins
October 17, 2018

Richard Powers, National Book Award victor from the USA, gets in because of The Overstory, a novel of epic ambition that weaves in migration with lambent reflection on the life of trees.

And this morning word comes of the Man Booker Short list-a list dominated by women writers.

The shortlist for the 2018 Man Booker Prize comprises of Anna Burns' Milkman, Esi Edugyan's Washington Black, Daisy Johnson's Everything Under, Rachel Kushner's The Mars Room, Richard Powers' The Overstory, and Robin Robertson's The Long Take.

After revealing a striking longlist in July, featuring a thriller and a graphic novel (for the first time in its 50 years of existence), the Man Booker Prize 2018 pricked the ballooning excitement of readers somewhat with the shortlist announced this morning.

Meanwhile judges praised the youngest author ever to make the shortlist - 27-year-old Daisy Johnson, author of "Everything Under" - for producing "a modern variation on Sophocles's Oedipus".

Robertson, long regarded as one of Scotland's leading poets, was also the editor of Michael Ondaatje's Warlight, which was longlisted this year.

Writer Kwame Anthony Appiah, chairman of the judging panel, said "these books speak very much to our moment but we believe they will endure". "In each of them the language takes centre stage".

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The judges responded to the inclusion of non-UK authors with chair Appiah saying they "do not check writers' passports" but simply read the books.

Two novels from independent publishers, are shortlisted, alongside three from Penguin Random House and one from Pan Macmillan imprint Picador. And yet in every other respect they are remarkably diverse, exploring a multitude of subjects ranging across space and time.

Washington Black is also now on the Scotiabank Giller Prize longlist.

The award, which includes a £50,000 prize, is presented annually to the best original novel in the English language by a living author.

The victor will receive a further £50,000 and can expect instant global recognition.

The 2018 victor will be announced on Tuesday 16 October in London's Guildhall.

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