Booker Prize 2023: Authors shortlist revealed

Two Irish authors made the shortlist, as well as three from North America and a Briton

Spines of books that made the Booker Prize Shortlist 2023. Courtesy Booker Prize
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Six novelists have been shortlisted for the Booker Prize 2023.

Chairwoman of the judges, Canadian novelist Esi Edugyan, announced the shortlist on Thursday evening at the newly reopened National Portrait Gallery in London.

Writer and professor James Shapiro was on the judges' panel and said the arts have been “flourishing in Ireland”, which was reflected in the long and shortlists.

Two Irish authors made the cut, as well as three from North American and a Briton.

Irish novelist Paul Lynch made the list with his book Prophet Song, about a scientist whose husband is taken away by the newly formed Irish secret police.

Fellow Irish writer Paul Murray has been recognised for The Bee Sting, which follows an Irish family facing financial and emotional troubles after the 2008 financial crash.

Also on the shortlist is British author Chetna Maroo’s debut novel Western Lane, about grief, sisterhood and playing squash.

Everything you need to know about the entries in the Booker Prize 2023 Shortlist - in pictures

American novelist Jonathan Escoffery is on the list for If I Survive You, a book set in 1979 that follows a Jamaican family in Miami as they endure recession, racism and Hurricane Andrew.

Canadian author Sarah Bernstein’s Study for Obedience is about a young woman who moves from the place of her birth to be housekeeper for her brother.

American author Paul Harding is recognised for This Other Eden, set at the start of the 20th century in Apple Island, an enclave off the coast of the US, where people who are castaways go to live.

A number of well-known faces helped to whittle down the longlist of 13 titles to a shortlist of six, including Peep Show’s Robert Webb and Bridgerton actress Adjoa Andoh.

The Booker Prize recognises talent from around the globe and has previously been awarded to authors including Margaret Atwood, Dame Hilary Mantel and Sir Salman Rushdie.

“The best novels invoke a sense of timelessness even while saying something about how we live now. Our six finalists are marvels of form," Edugyan said.

“Some look unflinchingly at the ways in which trauma can be absorbed and passed down through the generations, as much an inheritance as a well-worn object or an unwanted talent.

“Some turn a gleeful, dissecting eye on everyday encounters. Some paint visceral portraits of societies pushed to the edge of tolerance.

“All are fuelled by a kind of relentless truth-telling, even when that honesty forces us to confront dark acts.

"And yet, however long we may pause in the shadows, humour, decency and grace are never far from hand.”

The winner of the 2023 Booker Prize will be announced on November 26 at a ceremony at Old Billingsgate in London and receive £50,000 ($61,000) and a trophy that has been named Iris, in honour of the writer Iris Murdoch.

Updated: September 21, 2023, 10:52 PM