Six novels have been named 2021 Booker Prize finalists. See the shortlist

A split image of a man in a cream sweater and a blue book cover for "Bewilderment" by Richard Powers
Pulitzer Prize winner Richard Powers’ “Bewilderment” made the shortlist for the 2021 Booker Prize
(Dean Dixon / W. W. Norton & Company)

The latest novel from Pulitzer Prize winner Richard Powers and five other works made the shortlist Tuesday for the 2021 Booker Prize for Fiction.

The finalists for this year’s prestigious honor are Powers’ “Bewilderment,” Anuk Arudpragasam’s “A Passage North,” Damon Galgut’s “The Promise,” Patricia Lockwood’s “No One Is Talking About This,” Nadifa Mohamed’s “The Fortune Men” and Maggie Shipstead’s “Great Circle.”

“The Promise,” about a broken family navigating separate lives in South Africa, marks Galgut’s third appearance on the Booker Prize shortlist. And Powers makes the cut for the second time with “Bewilderment,” about an astrobiologist raising a 9-year-old son while grieving the death of his wife.


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“No One is Talking About This,” about an overnight social media sensation on her first world tour, is the first novel by Lockwood, a poet popular on social media, and her debut on the Booker Prize shortlist.

Rounding out the 2021 finalists, “A Passage North” follows a young man who embarks on a journey to the war-torn Northern Province of Sri Lanka; “The Fortune Men” chronicles a father wrongfully convicted of murder and hanged in Cardiff, Wales; and “Great Circle” concerns a woman pilot on a mission to fly around the globe.

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Among those conspicuously snubbed was “Klara and the Sun,” a widely acclaimed dystopian novel by Kazuo Ishiguro. Ishiguro was previously nominated for the Booker four times, winning in 1989 for “The Remains of the Day.”

“With so many ambitious and intelligent books before us, the judges engaged in rich discussions not only about the qualities of any given title, but often about the purpose of fiction itself,” Maya Jasanoff, chair of the 2021 Booker Prize judging panel, said in a statement.

“We are pleased to present a shortlist that delivers as wide a range of original stories as it does voices and styles.”

This year’s Booker Prize nominees were selected from among 158 entries published in Ireland or the United Kingdom. The winner will be crowned during a Nov. 3 ceremony, earning 50,000 pounds.


Once restricted to authors residing within the British Commonwealth, the Booker Prize was opened to all writers in English, including Americans, in 2014. Paul Beatty was the first American to win, in 2016, for “The Sellout.”

See more details about the award and finalists here.