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The Man Booker Prize 2015 Short List

The Man Booker Prize for Fiction launched in 1969 and "aims to promote the finest in fiction" by rewarding one book, written in English, each year. This year's judges are Ellah Allfrey, John Burnside, Sam Leith and Frances Osborne, and the winner will be selected on Tuesday, October 13. This morning, September 15, the short list of nominees was announced. Read about the finalists below! 

A Brief History of Seven Killings

Marlon James

Bob Marley was brutally attacked by gunmen on December 3, 1976, just before he was to perform at the Smile Jamaica Concert to ease political tensions in Kingston. He put on the show, but afterwards left the country and would not return for two years. Follow the history of these events from the perspective of an eclectic cast of characters.

Marlon James was born in Jamaica and is the author of award-winning The Book of Night Women and John Crow’s Devil. He currently resides in Minneapolis. 

A Little Life

Hanya Yanagihara

Four college friends move to New York City with very little money, but are supported by each other’s friendship and their ambitions. In the decades to come, their relationships with each other grow deeper and darker, shadowed by their individual experiences.  At their center is Jude, the withdrawn boy who develops into a successful litigator, but is scarred by his traumatic past.

Hanya Yanagihara, author of The People in the Trees, currently resides in New York City and is the editor-at-large at Conde Nast Traveller. 

A Spool of Blue Thread

Anne Tyler

The stories a family presents to the world never reflect the secrets they keep. The Whitshanks are one of those families, emulating togetherness while at the same time struggling with jealousies and disappointments. Follow four generations of Whitshanks from Baltimore in the 1920s to the latest generation, ushering the family into the twenty-first century.

Anne Tyler is the author of twenty novels and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Her novel Breathing Room won the Pulitzer Prize in 1988. She currently resides in Baltimore. 

Satin Island

Tom McCarthy

Join U., the corporate anthropologist tasked with composing the Great Report: an ethnography to sum up our age. Instead of focusing on the impossible project, he finds himself procrastinating, becoming distracted with the endless information he is bombarded with on a daily basis.

Tom McCarthy grew up in London and is the author of Remainder, Men in Space and C. He writes on literature and art for many publications including the New York Times, The London Review of books and Artforum.  

The Fishermen

Chigozie Obioma

The Fishermen is a tale of family, fear and prophecy. At the same time, it is the tale of a country. Set in mid-1990s Nigeria, during the reign of military dictator General Sani Abacha, The Fishermen is a narrowly focused story with a broad historical, political and cultural scope. The narrator is Benjamin, the youngest of four recalcitrant brothers. Fishing in a river they’re not supposed to be near, the brothers encounter a prophetic madman. In a mythic twist, the madman foresees that the oldest brother will be killed by one of his siblings. What follows is an unravelling. What is there to hold a family together, when trust is lost?

Chigozie Obioma was born in Nigeria, but is now living in the United States. His short stories have been published in the Virginia Quarterly Review and New Madrid. The Fishermen is his first novel.

The Year of the Runaways

Sunjeev Sahota

Thirteen young migrant workers stuffed into a house in Sheffield. Each of them is on a quest for a new life, to be removed from their respective pasts. The Year of the Runaways alternates between India and England, past and present, to portray the struggles of its protagonists. This is a story of adversity and how humans deal with it. This is a story of fighting for survival, of reaching towards a brighter future, of defeat, and of victory.

Sunjeev Sahota is from England. His first novel, Ours are the Streets, came out in 2001 to critical acclaim.