The 2023 RSL Ondaatje shortlist is:
Anthony Anaxagorou, Heritage Aesthetics (Granta Poetry)
Michelle de Kretser, Scary Monsters (Allen & Unwin)
Shehan Karunatilaka, The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida (Sort of Books)
Zaffar Kunial, England’s Green (Faber & Faber)
Priscilla Morris, Black Butterflies (Duckworth)
The judges Samira Ahmed, Roger Robinson and Joelle Taylor, said, “What captivated us about all five books on the shortlist was the revelations they gave us: powerfully evoked landscapes that felt sometimes home, but sometimes alien and hostile worlds because of the political forces that strafe across them like bullets. Cinematic in scope and description, we were enticed by personal stories connected to larger histories, rich and adventurous language, and revelations that sometimes bordered on an unexpected new form of creative documentary. All these books defy narrow national boundaries, and we’ve relished an unflinching power of individual figures standing up against violence and hostility, and facing down darkness, with decency and love.”
The winner will be announced on Wednesday 10 May.
We will open for the 2024 Prize in late summer. If you are a publisher who would like to submit, please email Laura Sibbald to be added to the contact list to be informed when we are taking entries.