Stories about Alzheimer’s disease, the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks and racist tensions in 1930s Alabama have been nominated for the annual Orange Prize for Fiction honouring fiction written by women.
British writer Samantha Harvey is the only first-time novelist on the shortlist of six authors published on Tuesday.
The awards ceremony takes place in London on June 3.
Harvey’s “The Wilderness” is about Jake, a man in his early 60s who has Alzheimer’s disease and is struggling to hold on to his memories and identity.
Ellen Feldman of the United States was nominated for “Scottsboro”, a story set in 1930s Alabama where a group of black youths are accused of rape and face the electric chair unless a young journalist can clear their names.
Compatriot Samantha Hunt is on the shortlist with “The Invention of Everything Else” about a Serbian scientist who dies in poverty after his carelessness allowed other inventors to cash in on his ideas.
The third US novelist nominated was Pulitzer Prize winner Marilynne Robinson for “Home”, about Jack, the “prodigal son” of the Boughton family.
Irish writer Deirdre Madden was shortlisted for “Molly Fox’s Birthday” about a playwright in Dublin, and rounding off the nominations was Pakistani/British author Kamila Shamsie for “Burnt Shadows”, which spans the Nagasaki atomic bomb in 1945 and Afghanistan in the wake of the September 11 attacks.