Booker Prize unveils 2022 shortlist including oldest finalist ever
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Britain's Booker Prize for fiction unveiled its final contenders for this year's award Tuesday, featuring the oldest author and the shortest book ever to make the prestigious six-strong literary shortlist.
Octogenarian Englishman Alan Garner, who will turn 88 when the winner is announced on October 17, was shortlisted for "Treacle Walker", which is the shortest finalist novel by word count.
Speaking about the overall shortlist, Neil MacGregor, chair of the 2022 judges, said: "They're not easy books, even though they may be short. But like many great pleasures, some require hard work and we found them well worth the effort."
Garner, who made his name with children's fantasy titles and folk retellings, earned the nomination after six decades in print.
Zimbabwean novelist NoViolet Bulawayo made it for the second time, for "Glory", while Sri Lanka's Shehan Karunatilaka was the only other writer not from the British Isles or United States, for "The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida".
"These are, above all, books that we have enjoyed," MacGregor said as he unveiled the shortlist at an event in central London.
"They're books that we want to recommend to others. They're not too long and that's maybe evidence that we're looking at not just great writing, but also some great editing," he added.
MacGregor noted most of the novels tackled "serious, sometimes tragic subjects" but all of them also featured "moments of high humour".
The Booker is Britain's foremost literary award for novels written in English. Its previous recipients include Salman Rushdie, Margaret Atwood and Hilary Mantel.