Graphic novel features on Man Booker Prize longlist for the first time

For The First Time Ever The Man Booker Prize Longlist Features a Graphic Novel

For The First Time Ever The Man Booker Prize Longlist Features a Graphic Novel

The award-winning author published his first novel in 2012 and has since been catapulted on to the best-sellers lists and into the world of literary prizes.

The only long-established name is Michael Ondaatje, who shared the prize in 1992 for The English Patient and returns this year with Warlight.

The most prestigious literary prize in Britain has accepted its first "comic book for grown-ups" as its chief judge declared that readers have been too dismissive of graphic novels. The Canadian's seventh novel, Warlight, is on a list featuring four debut works and four authors under the age of 30.

The Castletroy resident and University of Limerick creative writing lecturer is one of 13 authors in contention for the prize.

Critics' most frequent assertion has been that an American hegemony is the result of the widened eligibility, a notion confirmed for some by the fact that USA writers have won the Booker for the past two years, Paul Beatty in 2016 and George Saunders in 2017.

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Chair of the 2018 judges, Kwame Anthony Appiah, said the judges were "struck, overall, by their disruptive power: these novels disrupted the way we thought about things we knew about, and made us think about things we didn't know about. Oblique, subtle, minimal, unmanipulative: the style of the pictures is the book's worldview", they said. Nick Drnaso's Sabrina explores the effects of a 24-hour news cycle after the disappearance of a young woman.

Until 2013, the Booker Prize was awarded for the best original full-length novel written in English by a citizen of the Commonwealth, the Republic of Ireland or Zimbabwe. The move was a bid to stamp the prize's authority as the English-speaking world's foremost literary award, crucially by opening it to US writers.

"In the week following the 2017 victor announcement", the foundation reports, "sales of [last year's winner] Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders increased by 1,227 percent". The rules have been changed this year to include books published in Ireland.

The shortlist will be announced on September 20.

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