Nadifa Mohamed and Damon Galgut are on the shortlist for the Booker Prize 2021 announced on Tuesday, September 14, 2021.
The Booker Prize for Fiction, worth £50,000, is a literary prize awarded annually for the best original novel written in the English language and published in the United Kingdom. Since it started in 1969, it has been won by four writers of African descent, Nadine Gordimer (1974), Ben Okri (1991), J. M. Coetzee (1999), and Bernardine Evaristo (2019). Some of those who have been shortlisted are Chinua Achebe (1987), Abdulrazak Gumah (1994), Ahdaf Soueif (1999), Achmat Dangor (2004), Marie NDiaye (2013), Chigozie Obioma (2015 and 2019) as well as Tsitsi Dangarembga, Maaza Mengiste, and Brandon Taylor (2020).
The 2021 judging panel is chaired by historian Maya Jasanoff alongside writer and editor Horatia Harrod; actor Natascha McElhone; twice Booker-shortlisted novelist and professor Chigozie Obioma; and writer and former Archbishop Rowan Williams. They announced the longlist for the award on July 27 before unveiling the shortlist yesterday.
Booker Prize judging panel chair Maya Jasanoff said; “With so many ambitious and intelligent books before us, the judges engaged in rich discussions not only about the qualities of any given title, but often about the purpose of fiction itself. We are pleased to present a shortlist that delivers as wide a range of original stories as it does voices and styles.”
On the shortlist are Nadifa Mohamed for The Fortune Men and Damon Galgut for The Promise. This will be the third shortlist that Galgut will feature on after his nod for The Good Doctor (2003) and In a Strange Room (2010).
Damon Galgut said of his shortlist, “When I heard the news, the immediate feeling was relief excitement and a fair amount of anxiety.”
Nadifa said; “To be here reaching out to a much wider audience about this novel that’s been so important to me, that’s taken almost 20 years of my life to get out there.
The winner of the award will be announced on Wednesday, November 3, 2021.