The longlist for the Booker Prize has been announced, with 20-year-old Leila Mottley becoming the youngest author ever nominated for the prestigious U.K. literary award.
Mottley earned a spot on the list for Nightcrawling, her debut novel about a young woman in Oakland, California, who becomes embroiled in a police scandal. In a starred review, a critic for Kirkus praised the book—which was a pick for Oprah Winfrey’s book club—for its “lush, immersive writing and a relentless reality that crushes a girl’s soul.”
The Booker Prize Foundation also nominated its oldest-ever author: Alan Garner, 87, who made the list for Treacle Walker.
Mottley is one of six U.S. authors to be nominated, alongside Hernan Diaz for Trust, Percival Everett for The Trees, Karen Joy Fowler for Booth, Selby Wynn Schwartz for After Sappho, and Elizabeth Strout for Oh William!
Mottley and Schwartz are among the three authors longlisted for debut novels; the other is British author Maddie Mortimer for Maps of Our Spectacular Bodies.
Also nominated for the prize were NoViolet Bulawayo for Glory, Shehan Karunatilaka for The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida, Claire Keegan for Small Things Like These, Audrey Magee for The Colony, and Graeme Macrae Burnet for Case Study.
The Booker Prize, established in 1969, is given annually to “the best sustained work of fiction written in English and published in the UK and Ireland.”
The shortlist for this year’s award will be revealed on Sept. 6, with the winner announced at a ceremony in London on Oct. 17.
Michael Schaub, a journalist and regular contributor to NPR, lives near Austin, Texas.