American writers dominate £50,000 prize with tales of drugs, family grief and female fliers
÷ANUK ARUDPRAGASAM (SRI LANKA) – A PASSAGE NORTH: An account of the legacy of Sri Lanka’s 30-year civil war through the eyes of Krishan, a young man who journeys by train into the country’s war-torn Northern Province after receiving a telephone call informing him his grandmother’s caretaker has died in unexpected circumstances. ÷DAMON GALGUT (SOUTH AFRICA) – THE PROMISE: A tale of the decline of a white family from 1986 during South Africa’s transition out of apartheid. The younger generation attacks the views held by their elders, including a failed promise to give a home to a black woman who had worked for the family for years. ÷PATRICIA LOCKWOOD (US) – NO ONE IS TALKING ABOUT THIS: The first part follows an
interactions with a virtual platform called ‘the portal’, while the second explores grief and consciousness through a family tragedy. ÷NADIFA MOHAMED (SOMALIBRITISH) – THE FORTUNE MEN:
Mahmood Mattan is a chancer and a petty criminal who finds himself wrongfully charged with murder in 1950s Cardiff. ÷RICHARD POWERS (US) – BEWILDERMENT: A widowed astrobiologist’s young son is on the verge of being expelled for smashing his friend’s face with a metal thermos. The father is faced with having to navigate how to handle his unusual son when the only advice given is to put him on psychoactive drugs. ÷MAGGIE SHIPSTEAD (US) – GREAT CIRCLE: A brother and sister are twice abandoned by their parents and grow up roaming the forests of Montana before she goes on to become one of the most fearless female pilots. She disappears shortly before completing a daring round-the-world feat. Fast forward to 2015, when actress Hadley Baxter is playing the pilot in a biopic and starts to question if she really did die.