The Man Booker Prize, arguably the UK’s most prestigious literary award, has given the longlist nod to a graphic novel for the first time in its 49 year history. Tucked in amongst the usual middlebrow literary fiction, historical romps, and semi-comic novels that usually make up the bulk of the annual Man Booker longlist is Nick Drnaso’s Sabrina.
Published by British big boys Granta, Sabrina is a serious and sober examination of the aftermath of a young girl’s disappearance. Booker judge and crime doyenne Val McDermid says, “The graphic novel has increasingly become front and centre in terms of storytelling and we felt Sabrina does just what good fiction should do.”
Released last month, emblazoned with a glowing cover quote from Zadie Smith, and given an enthusiastic review by Chris Ware in the Guardian, Sabrina is Chicago-based Nick’s second book. His first, 2017’s Beverly received the LA Times Book prize for Best Graphic Novel.
Nick is competing for space on the whittled down shortlist against the likes of Rachel Kushner, Sally Rooney, and Michael Ondaatje. That shortlist will be announced in September, with the prize itself – and the £50,000 that comes with it – will be doled out on the 16th of October.
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