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African Author’s Make the Booker’s Cut

This year’s shortlist is notable for featuring four debut novels, and four works by writers of colour, among them Zimbabwean writer Tsitsi Dangarembga, who was arrested in July in Harare for anti-government protests. The majority of the writers are American or based in America, and despite the Booker being a UK prize, only one British writer made the cut: Douglas Stuart. Among the novels vying for the $88,250 prize are an ode to the working-class women of Thatcher-era Glasgow, a tale about Ethiopia’s female freedom fighters in the 30s, and a dystopian vision of motherhood and community in an America ravaged by climate change. There’s plenty to sink your teeth into. Ethiopian writer Maaza Mengiste has been shortlisted for the Booker Prize for her book, The Shadow King. The Shadow King is about an orphan girl named Hirut living in Ethiopia in 1935 amid the threat of invasion by Mussolini.