Last year’s Booker Prize winner — The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida, a satire set amid the civil war in Sri Lanka by Shehan Karunatilaka — is among five novels long-listed yesterday for the Ondaatje Prize of the Royal Society of Literature, an annual award of £10,000 for a book that best evokes “the spirit of a place”. Also on the list are two volumes of poetry; a memoir; and a study of how “remote politics” in Britain has robbed ordinary people of power.
The judges for this year’s prize are Samira Ahmed, Roger Robinson and Joelle Taylor. The short list will be announced on April 24 and the winner on May 10.
The nine books on the long list are:
Heritage Aesthetics by Anthony Anaxagorou (Granta Poetry)
All Down Darkness Wide by Seán Hewitt (Vintage)
The Half-life of Snails by Philippa Holloway (Parthian Books)
The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida by Shehan Karunatilaka (Sort of Books)
Scary Monsters by Michelle de Kretser (Allen & Unwin)
England’s Green by Zaffar Kunial (Faber & Faber)
The Social Distance Between Us by Darren McGarvey (Ebury Press)
Black Butterflies by Priscilla Morris (Duckworth)
A Sin of Omission by Marguerite Poland (EnvelopeBooks).