By Andrew Bushe
DUBLIN — Two U.S.-based Irish writers are among six authors shortlisted from 120 submissions for Britain’s best-known literary award, the Booker Prize.
They are Michael Collins, from Limerick, who is based in Seattle, and Brian O’Doherty, from Kerry, who lives in New York.
The winner, who will get £21,000 sterling, will be announced in London on Nov. 7. The prestigious prize means literary stardom for the successful author and huge sales for their books.
Collins, who was born in 1964, was shortlisted for "The Keepers of Truth", which is centered on the last manufacturing dynasty in a dying industrial town.
A lonely newspaperman lives alone in the family mansion and works for the local newspaper, The Truth. When an old man is killed and his son is the chief suspect, the newspaperman’s investigation is used to examine the town and the mood of the nation.
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Collins has written two previous novels, "The Life and Times of a Teaboy" which was the New York Times Book of the Year in 1993, and "Emerald Underground."
He has also published two collections of short stories, "The Meath eaters" and "The Feminists Go Swimming."
O’Doherty was shortlisted for "The Deposition of Father McGreevy."
The novel begins in a London pub in the 1950s where editor William Maginn is intrigued by a mention of the strange — and reputedly shameful — demise of a remote Kerry village where he was born.
He returns to Kerry to uncover the tale about the tragedy of an increasingly isolated village where all the women mysteriously die.
The priest, Fr. McGreevy, struggles to cope with insoluble problems while battling against the rough mountain elements, the grief and superstitions of his people and the growing distrust of the town below.