Elizabeth Strout and Leila Mottley nominated for Booker Prize for Fiction

Best-selling American writers Karen Joy Fowler, Elizabeth Strout and Leila Mottley are among 13 authors vying for the prestigious Booker Price for fiction.

Fowler’s novel about Abraham Lincoln’s assassin, “Booth”, Strout’s symphony of everyday life “Oh William!” and “Nightcrawling,” Mottley’s debut album in Oakland, are among six books by Americans on the long-list for the 50,000-pound ($60,000) prize.

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The list announced on Tuesday also includes authors from Britain, Ireland, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe.

At 20, Mottley is the youngest candidate for the Booker Prize. A story of racism and sexual exploitation written while still a teenager, “Nightcrawling” won rave reviews and was featured in Oprah’s Book Club.

British fantasy author Alan Garner, on the “Treacle Walker” list, is Booker’s longest-serving nominee at 87.

Five judges selected the contestants from 169 books submitted by publishers. Former British Museum director Neil MacGregor, who chairs the jury, said the list “offers stories, fables and parables, fantasy, mystery, meditation and thriller”. He said many of the books have plots driven by “long stories of conflict and injustice” and grapple with “the elusive nature of truth”.

Mottley is one of the first three novelists to make the list, alongside Briton Maddie Mortimer (“Maps of Our Spectacular Bodies”) and American author Selby Wynn Schwartz (“After Sappho”).

Both Strout and Fowler have been Reservation front suitors.

Other repeat finalists are Zimbabwe’s NoViolet Bulawayo, for the animal fable ‘Glory’, and Scotland’s Graeme Macrae Burnet, for the psychological mystery ‘Case Study’.

The field is completed by “Trust”, by the American writer Hernan Diaz; “The Trees” by American author Percival Everett; “Small Things Like These” by Irish writer Claire Keegan; “The Colony” by Irishwoman Audrey Magee; and “The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida” by Shehan Karunatilaka from Sri Lanka.

Founded in 1969, the Booker Prize has a reputation for transforming writers’ careers and was originally open to British, Irish and Commonwealth writers. Eligibility was extended in 2014 to all English-language novels published in the UK

Last year’s winner was ‘The Promise’ by South African Damon Galgut.

A shortlist of six books will be announced on September 6 and the winner will be crowned on October 17 at a ceremony in London.

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