Canadian novelist Esi Edugyan’s “Washington Black” has been named as a finalist for the Man Booker Prize for fiction.
The Victoria-based author joins three U.K. writers and two Americans on the short list, marking the second nomination for Edugyan’s book in recent days.
“Washington Black” follows the saga of an 11-year-old boy who escapes slavery at a Barbados sugar plantation with the help of the owner’s kinder brother.
He embarks on a journey across the globe where he faces the weight of his past and lingering figures who threaten his future.
The book was also longlisted for this year’s Scotiabank Giller Prize on Monday.
Others chosen for the Man Booker shortlist include two first novels: U.K. poet Robin Robertson’s verse novel “The Long Take” and “Everything Under” by British writer Daisy Johnson. At 27, Johnson is the youngest-ever Booker finalist.
The American finalists are Rachel Kushner’s prison story “The Mars Room” and Richard Powers’ tree-inspired tale “The Overstory” with the troubles-set story “Milkman” by Northern Ireland writer Anna Burns round out the list.
Edugyan previously appeared on the Man Booker shortlist in 2011 with her book “Half-Blood Blues,” which focused on a black jazz musician who goes missing after being arrested in Nazi Germany during the Second World War.
A representative for Edugyan said the author was unavailable to comment on the recognition for “Washington Black” because she was currently on tour promoting the book.
In an interview last month, the author said making the Man Booker longlist was “wonderful.”
“I’m blown away by it,” she said at the time. “It raises the visibility of the book and that’s great.”
The winner of the 50,000 pound (C$85,500) prize will be announced on Oct. 16 during a black-tie dinner at London’s Guildhall.
Favourites including Canada’s Michael Ondaatje didn’t make the cut from the 13-novel longlist.
– with files from The Associated Press.