Ruth Gilligan, Nina Mingya Powles, Adam Mars-Jones, James Rebanks, Francesca Wade and Louise Hare are the six writers shortlisted for this year's £10,000 Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje Prize.
The annual prize aims to reward the author of a work of fiction, non-fiction or poetry that best evokes the spirit of a place. The six authors, out of an initial longlist of 13, have been selected by judges Baroness Lola Young of Hornsey (chair), Helen Mort and Adam Rutherford, to form this year’s shortlist.
Gilligan is nominated for The Butchers (Atlantic Books), which traces the Irish folklore of how a man ended up in a rural slaughterhouse, suspended by his feet on a meat hook. Hare's debut novel This Lovely City (HQ) follows the course of a jazz musician, newly arrived in London on the "Windrush", and explores love and prejudice in post-Second World War London.
Mars-Jones' dark comedy Box Hill (Fitzcarraldo Editions) is a tale of an abusive, submissive gay affair set in Surrey. Mingya Powles' (pictured) Magnolia, 木蘭 (Nine Arches Press), her first full collection of poems, examines "the shape and texture of memories" and mixed-race girlhood.
Rebanks' novel English Pastoral (Allen Lane), which follows four generations of his family farming in the Cumbrian Fells, and Wade's debut Square Haunting (Faber & Faber), which tells the stories of five women forging creative lives between the World Wars, complete the shortlist.
Previous recipients of the prize have included Roger Robinson, Aida Edemariam, Pascale Petit, Francis Spufford, Alan Johnson, Edmund de Waal, Hisham Matar and Louisa Waugh. The winner will be revealed on Tuesday 11th May.