Arts & Academia

Zimbabwean Novelist, NoViolet Bulawayo Shortlisted for Booker Prize 2022

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Celebrated Zimbabwean Novelist, NoViolet Bulawayo has been shortlisted for this year’s Booker Prize.

Violet was shortlisted for her novel, Glory, an Animal Farm-inspired political satire narrated by a chorus of animals. The judges called it “a magical crossing of the African continent in its political excesses and its wacky characters.”

The chair of judges, Neil MacGregor described the shortlist as the group of people who “speak powerfully about important things”. Others on the shortlist include one Irish writer, one English writer, two Americans, and one from Sri Lanka.

The panel of judges trimmed down the longlist of 13 books to the following six titles:

Glory by NoViolet Bulawayo
Small Things Like These by Claire Keegan
The Trees by Percival Everett
The Seven Moons of Mali Almeida by Shehan Karunatilaka
Oh William! by Elizabeth Strout
Treacle Walker by Alan Garner

Announcing the shortlist live from the Serpentine Pavilion in London, MacGregor said that judges are completely free to set their own criteria, but that they were looking for authors who “created a world, an imagined world that we can feel as our own.”

In all six books, he said, “Something momentous happens to an individual or a society. They realize what they are and what they can become.” They’re also “not too long,” showing “great editing”, he joked.

The other judges were academic and broadcaster Shahidha Bari; historian Helen Castor; novelist and critic M. John Harrison; and novelist, poet, and Professor Alain Mabanckou.

The shortlists were selected from 169 novels published between Oct. 1, 2021, and Sept. 30, 2022, and submitted by publishers. The Booker Prize is open to works by writers of any nationality, written in English and published in the U.K. or Ireland.

All of the shortlisted authors receive £2,500 and a specially bound edition of their book. The winner — to be announced on October 17, 2022 — receives £50,000.

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