Emma Donoghue – Room (Picador – Pan Macmillan)
Damon Galgut – In a Strange Room (Atlantic Books)
Andrew Motion, chair of the judging panel, commented:
It’s been a great privilege and an exciting challenge for us to reduce our longlist of thirteen to this shortlist of six outstandingly good novels. In doing so, we feel sure we’ve chosen books which demonstrate a rich variety of styles and themes – while in every case providing deep individual pleasures.
As we noted previously, the longlist excluded both Martin Amis and Ian McEwan, two high-profile British authors who published novels this year. Instead, the judges appear to have gone for a serious but diverse mix – from Peter Carey’s “comic adventure that functions with equal brilliance as a novel of ideas”, in the words of our fiction critic Leo Robson, to Tom McCarthy’s excavations of 20th century European modernism, to Andrea Levy’s innovative historical fiction.