Author Emily Fridlund had quite an auspicious debut into the literary world. Her first published novel, History of Wolves, is nominated for the prestigious Man Booker Prize for fiction writing.
She's in good Minnesota company, as Macalester professor Marlon James won for his epic work A Brief History of Seven Killings in 2015.
Fridlund, a Twin Cities native, now resides in Ithaca, NY, as a postdoc at Cornell University. She is up against 12 other writers, including Colson Whitehead, Paul Auster, and George Saunders. The winner receives 50,000 pounds.
History of Wolves tells a coming-of-age story, following a 14-year-old girl named Linda as she navigates life in the woods of northern Minnesota. The book was favorably reviewed upon release; author Peter Geye had this to say in the Star Tribune about the work:
“What’s the difference between what you want to believe and what you do? … And what’s the difference between what you think and what you end up doing?”
Fridlund offers only her story in answer to these queries, and the effect is profound and disturbing. And surely it’s interesting to see these disparate lives unfolding in such proximity. The book’s peculiarity is its own reward. For all of this, the novel excels.
The list will be shortened to six finalists on September 13, and the winner will be announced October 17.