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Graphic Novel Featured on Britain's Most Prestigious Literary Award's Longlist

While graphic novels have been nominated for the National Book Award, the American equivalent of Britain's Man Booker prize, the format has never been nominated for the main fiction category in either literary award. 

“Of course it was in our minds that this is the first,” said Kwame Anthony Appiah, the chairman of the judges, in a telephone interview with the New York Times. “But when the right novel comes along and it’s in your 13 favorites, you put it in the list.”

“The impact of this is the same you have from any great work of fiction,” he added. “You think, ‘Wow! I’ve gone through experiences here. I’ve been made to ask questions and feel emotions.”


Marking a major breakthrough for the format, Sabrina is the follow-up to Nick Drnaso's Beverly and depicts a modern world devoid of personal interaction and responsibility, where relationships are stripped of intimacy through glowing computer screens. Presenting an indictment of our modern state, Drnaso contemplates the dangers of a fake-news climate. Timely and articulate, Sabrina leaves you gutted, searching for meaning in the aftermath of disaster. For the description of the book, see below:

Conspiracy theories, breakdown, murder: Everything’s gonna be all right―until it isn’t

How many hours of sleep did you get last night? Rate your overall mood from 1 to 5, 1 being poor. Rate your stress level from 1 to 5, 5 being severe. Are you experiencing depression or thoughts of suicide? Is there anything in your personal life that is affecting your duty?

When Sabrina disappears, an airman in the U.S. Air Force is drawn into a web of suppositions, wild theories, and outright lies. He reports to work every night in a bare, sterile fortress that serves as no protection from a situation that threatens the sanity of Teddy, his childhood friend and the boyfriend of the missing woman. Sabrina’s grieving sister, Sandra, struggles to fill her days as she waits in purgatory. After a videotape surfaces, we see devastation through a cinematic lens, as true tragedy is distorted when fringe thinkers and conspiracy theorists begin to interpret events to fit their own narratives.

The full list of nominees are as follows: 

  • Belinda Bauer, “Snap”
  • Anna Burns, “Milkman”
  • Nick Drnaso, “Sabrina”
  • Esi Edugyan, “Washington Black”
  • Guy Gunaratne, “In Our Mad and Furious City”
  • Daisy Johnson, “Everything Under”
  • Rachel Kushner, “The Mars Room”
  • Sophie Mackintosh, “The Water Cure”
  • Michael Ondaatje, “Warlight”
  • Richard Powers, “The Overstory”; Robin Robertson, “The Long Take”
  • Sally Rooney, “Normal People”
  • Donal Ryan, “From a Low and Quiet Sea.”