LONDON • A graphic novel has made the longlist of the Man Booker Prize, Britain’s most prestigious literary award. The nomination marks a significant breakthrough for the format.
Nick Drnaso’s Sabrina, a piece that novelist Zadie Smith referred to as “the best book – in any medium – I have read about our current moment”, is the shock title among the many 13 finalists introduced on Monday. It seems alongside Rachel Kushner’s The Mars Room, Sally Rooney’s Normal People and Michael Ondaatje’s Warlight.
Ondaatje gained the Booker Prize in 1992 for The English Patient and this month gained a particular Golden Booker for finest winner within the award’s 50-year historical past.
Graphic novels have beforehand been nominated for – and gained – the National Book Award, the American equal of the Booker. But they have by no means been nominated for the primary fiction class in both the United States or Britain, regardless of many reaching crucial and industrial success.
If Drnaso wins, it will be the largest second for the graphic format since Art Spiegelman’s Maus gained a particular Pulitzer Prize in 1992.
Sabrina is the story of a killing in Colorado, however focuses on the Internet rumours and conspiracy theories that emerge round it and the impact on these left behind.
The Guardian stated that studying the novel “is an experience akin to watching a movie. It’s as if the lights have gone down: absorbed and gripped, the skin prickles”.
“Of course it was in our minds that this is the first,” stated Mr Kwame Anthony Appiah, chairman of the judges. “But when the right novel comes along and it’s in your 13 favourites, you put it in the list.”
It just isn’t the one uncommon finalist, he added. The poet Robin Robertson’s The Long Take, a few World War II veteran with post-traumatic stress dysfunction, is written in verse.
Drnaso is one in all three American authors nominated for the prize, alongside Kushner and Richard Powers for his ecological novel The Overstory.
The Booker Prize has been surrounded by controversy since 2014, when it was opened as much as anybody writing in English and have become dominated by Americans. It had beforehand been restricted to writers from Britain, Ireland, Zimbabwe and Commonwealth international locations.
In 2016, Paul Beatty gained with The Sellout, whereas final yr George Saunders gained for Lincoln In The Bardo. Since then, criticism has solely grown.
In May, a literary society that counts Margaret Atwood, Ian McEwan and Zadie Smith amongst its members demanded the rule change be reversed.