A baker’s dozen of books made the prize’s longlist, with the shortlist due out in September. The final winner will be announced in October.
The Man Booker Prize is awarded every year for the best original novel written in the English language and published in the UK. Established in 1969, the award includes £50,000 in prize money as well as the £2,500 awarded to each of the shortlisted authors.
Here’s what the judges said about the graphic novel:
“Given the changing shape of fiction, it was only a matter of time before a graphic novel was included on the Man Booker longlist. Sabrina makes demands on the reader in precisely the way all good fiction does. Oblique, subtle, minimal, unmanipulative: the style of the pictures is the book’s worldview. Drnaso uses images to express an idea about what’s invisible – an idea about uncertainty, and the different kinds of holes that missing people leave in our lives.”
“We are thrilled to publish Nick Drnaso’s Sabrina in tandem with our friends in the UK at Granta Books,” Drawn and Quarterly said on their website. “We have always believed that comics are a vital medium within literary culture and are delighted that the Man Booker nominating committee has seen fit to recognize Nick’s genius in this way. From the moment that Nick first turned in the manuscript for Sabrina, we knew this was a very important and timely book because of the subtle power and insight with which it engaged our contemporary moment. In Sabrina, Nick shows how the 24 hour news cycle and false flag conspiracy theories feed our anxieties and encourage a lack of empathy for the world around us.”