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The 2020 Booker Prize longlist unveiled

  • Published at 07:57 pm July 29th, 2020
Booker Prize 2020 longlist

Debuts dominate the longlist

13 books have made the longlist for the 2020 Booker Prize. Selected from 162 novels, the longlist features nine women and four men, eight of whom are debut novelists. 

The debuts include Indian-American writer Avni Doshi’s Burnt Sugar, American novelist Kiley Reid’s Such a Fun Age, Polish-British author Gabriel Krauze’s Who They Was, Chinese-American novelist C Pam Zhang’s How Much of These Hills is Gold and American author Brandon Taylor’s Real Life

The list also features Zimbabwean author Tsitsi Dangarembga, Irish-American author Colum McCann and Ethiopian-American author Maaza Mengiste.

British author Hilary Mantel, who won the Booker Prize twice in the past, in 2009 and in 2012, has made the list for The Mirror & The Light, which constitutes the last book in her famous Thomas Cromwell Trilogy. If Hilary Mantel wins this time, she will make history as no writer has yet won the Booker three times.

The judging panel includes editor, literary critic and former publisher Margaret Busby (chair); author Lee Child; author and critic Sameer Rahim; writer and broadcaster Lemn Sissay; and classicist and translator Emily Wilson.  

Margaret Busby, chair of the judging panel, said in a statement: 

“Each of these books carries an impact that has earned it a place on the longlist, deserving of wide readership. Included are novels carried by the sweep of history with memorable characters brought to life and given visibility, novels that represent a moment of cultural change, or the pressures an individual faces in pre- and post-dystopian society. Some of the books focus on interpersonal relationships that are complex, nuanced, emotionally charged.’’

The Booker shortlist will be announced on September 15 and the 2020 winner will be announced in November. The winner receives £50,000 and the shortlisted authors each receive £2,500 and a specially bound edition of their book.

The 2019 Booker Prize for Fiction was won jointly by Margaret Atwood (for her The Testaments) and Bernardine Evaristo (for her Girl, Woman, Other).

The 2020 Booker Prize longlist:

1. The Mirror & The Light by Hilary Mantel  (4th Estate, HarperCollins)

2. Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid (Bloomsbury Circus, Bloomsbury Publishing)

3. The New Wilderness by Diane Cook (Oneworld Publications)

4. This Mournable Body by Tsitsi Dangarembga (Faber & Faber)

5. Burnt Sugar by Avni Doshi  (Hamish Hamilton, Penguin Random House)

6. Who They Was by Gabriel Krauze (4th Estate, HarperCollins)

7. Apeirogon by Colum McCann (Bloomsbury Publishing)

8. The Shadow King by Maaza Mengiste (Canongate Books)

9. Real Life by Brandon Taylor (Originals, Daunt Books Publishing)

10. Redhead by The Side of The Road by Anne Tyler (Chatto & Windus, Vintage)

11. Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart (Picador, Pan Macmillan)

12. Love and Other Thought Experiments by Sophie Ward (Corsair, Little, Brown)

13. How Much of These Hills is Gold by C Pam Zhang (Virago, Little, Brown)