Cover Sri Lankan Tamil novelist, Anuk Arudpragasam makes the Booker Prize 2021 shortlist (Photo: Anuk Arudpragasam)

Sri Lankan Tamil novelist, Anuk Arudpragasam is one of the final six shortlist contenders for the Booker Prize 2021

The Booker Prize 2021 has unveiled its final six novelists which includes Sri Lankan Tamil novelist Anuk Arudpragasam for his second book, A Passage North.

Arudpragasam previously won the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature and was shortlisted for both the Dylan Thomas Prize and the German Internationaler Literaturpreis. His sophomore novel follows a young man's journey into Sri Lanka’s war-torn north to attend his grandmother’s caretaker’s funeral.

Horatia Harrod, one of the judges for the Booker Prize said that they “had to find a place on the shortlist for A Passage North” as “Arudpragasam turns his poetic sensibility and profound meticulous attentiveness to the business of living in the aftermath of trauma.” She adds that he “considers how we can find our way in the present while also reckoning with the past.”

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Other authors who made the final six include debut novelist, Patricia Lockwood with No One is Talking About This, Damon Galgut making the list for the third time with The Promise and Richard Powers making the shortlist a second time with Bewilderment. Wrapping up the shortlist are Nadifa Mohamed’s The Fortune Men and Maggie Shipstead’s Great Circle.

“With so many ambitious and intelligent books before us, the judges engaged in rich discussions not only about the qualities of any given title, but often about the purpose of fiction itself. We are pleased to present a shortlist that delivers as wide a range of original stories as it does voices and styles,” says Maya Jasanoff, chair of the Booker Prize 2021 judges.

The Booker Prize is open to any nationality as long as their book has been published in the UK. The judging panel is chaired by historian Maya Jasanoff and each shortlisted author receiving GBP2,500 and a special bounded edition for their book. The winning author will be announced on November 3 in an award ceremony at the BBC Radio Theatre and will receive GBP50,000.

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This article was originally published on July 30, 2021 and was updated on September 15, 2021.