"History of Wolves," by Edina writer Emily Fridlund, is one of six novels--two of which are debut novels--shortlisted for the prestigitous Man Booker Prize. The shortlist, which was announced today, includes two other American writers--George Saunders and Paul Auster. Formerly a prize open only to writers in the UK, and its commonwealth, Ireland, and South Africa, the Man Booker opened up to all books published in the English language in 2014. The move was controversial, with many fearing that American writers would dominate the field.
The other finalists this year are British novelists Ali Smith and Fiona Mozley and Pakistani-British writer Mohsid Hamid.
The first American writer to win the Man Booker was Paul Beatty, last year, although St. Paul writer Marlon James, who is Jamaican, won in 2015 for "A Brief History of Seven Killings."
Both Fridlund's and Mozley's books are debut novels. Knocked off the long list were established novelists such as Zadie Smith, Sebastian Barry and Arundhati Roy.
Fridlund told the Star Tribune today that the news was "really exciting. Incredibly humbling. I had not expected this at all." Fridlund grew up in Edina and now lives in New York state; her novel takes place in northern Minnesota. You can read our interview with her in Tuesday's Star Tribune Variety section.
Here is the 2017 Man Booker Prize shortlist, with links to Star Tribune reviews:
4321 by Paul Auster
History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund
Exit West by Mohsin Hamid
Elmet by Fiona Mozley
Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders
Autumn by Ali Smith.
The winner will be announced Oct. 17 in London.