So the thirteen long-listed books have been whittled down to six for the shortlist. Those remaining in contention are:
A Brief History of Seven Killings Marlon James
Satin Island Tom McCarthy
The Fisherman Chigozie Obioma
The Year of the Runaways Sunjeev Sahota
A Spool of Blue Anne Tyler
A Little Life Hanya Yanagihara
So that is two Brits, two Americans and Jamaican and a Nigerian. Two women and four men. The age range of the authors runs from 28 to 73. Anne Tyler is a Pullitzer Prize winning author of 20 novels; Chigozie Obioma is nominated for his debut novel. The favourite is Hawaiian writer Hanya Yanagihara but I have a sneaking home-town wish to see Derbyshire’s Sunjeev Sahota come away with the prize for his tale of illegal immigrants in Britain. Like in his debut novel, Ours Are The Streets, which tackled the issue of would-be suicide bombers, Sahota is not afraid to confront topical concerns in this challenging – in the best sense of the word – and thought-provoking book.