Canadian novelist Sarah Bernstein's absurdist novel "Study for Obedience" has been shortlisted for the prestigious Booker Prize.
It's among six finalists for the £50,000 ($82,000) award, which goes to the book named the best work of fiction written in English and published in the U.K. and Ireland.
"Study for Obedience," first published by Granta Books in the U.K. and released in this country last month by Penguin Random House Canada, explores ideas of prejudice, power dynamics and history's power to shape people through the eyes of a woman who becomes her brother's housekeeper.
Fellow Canadian Esi Edugyan, who is chair of the Booker judges this year, made the announcement Thursday.
"Bernstein's urgent, beautiful prose upsets all of our expectations and what transpires is a meditation on survival itself," said Edugyan, who has twice been shortlisted for the Booker, first in 2011 and again in 2018.
Bernstein, who was born in Montreal and now lives in Scotland, also made the long list for the $100,000 Scotiabank Giller Prize. The short list for that prize will be announced Oct. 11, and the award will be handed out on Nov. 13.
"Study for Obedience" is Bernstein's second novel.
Also shortlisted for the Booker are "If I Survive You" by Jonathan Escoffery, "This Other Eden" by Paul Harding, "Prophet Song" by Paul Lynch, "Western Lane" by Chetna Maroo and "The Bee Sting" by Paul Murray.
The Booker Prize will be handed out Nov. 26.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 21, 2023.
The Canadian Press