Literature

Chigozie Obioma and Oyinkan Braithwaite make the 2019 Booker Prize Longlist

The longlist, or ‘Booker Dozen’, for the 2019 Booker Prize  has been announced, the 13 books were selected by a panel of five judges: founder and director of Hay Festival Peter Florence (Chair); former fiction publisher and editor Liz Calder; novelist, essayist and filmmaker Xiaolu Guo; writer, broadcaster and former barrister Afua Hirsch; and concert pianist, conductor and composer Joanna MacGregor. Alt had a quick with Chigozie Obioma (pictured) at the recent Africa Writes Festival. ( Image credit: Alt Africa)

The 2019 longlist, or ‘Booker Dozen’ is as follows:

  • Margaret Atwood (Canada), The Testaments (Vintage, Chatto & Windus)
  • Kevin Barry (Ireland), Night Boat to Tangier (Canongate Books)
  • Oyinkan Braithwaite (UK/Nigeria), My Sister, The Serial Killer (Atlantic Books)
  • Lucy Ellmann (USA/UK), Ducks, Newburyport (Galley Beggar Press)
  • Bernardine Evaristo (UK), Girl, Woman, Other (Hamish Hamilton)
  • John Lanchester (UK), The Wall (Faber & Faber)
  • Deborah Levy (UK), The Man Who Saw Everything (Hamish Hamilton)
  • Valeria Luiselli (Mexico/Italy), Lost Children Archive (4th Estate)
  • Chigozie Obioma (Nigeria), An Orchestra of Minorities (Little Brown)
  • Max Porter (UK), Lanny (Faber & Faber)
  • Salman Rushdie (UK/India), Quichotte (Jonathan Cape)
  • Elif Shafak (UK/Turkey), 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World (Viking)
  • Jeanette Winterson (UK), Frankissstein (Jonathan Cape)

Chosen from 151 novels published in the UK or Ireland between 1 October 2018 and 30 September 2019.

The Booker Prize for Fiction, first awarded in 1969, is open to writers of any nationality, writing in English and published in the UK or Ireland.

Chair of the 2019 judges, Peter Florence, says:

“If you only read one book this year, make a leap. Read all 13 of these. There are Nobel candidates and debutants on this list. There are no favourites; they are all credible winners. They imagine our world, familiar from news cycle disaster and grievance, with wild humour, deep insight and a keen humanity. These writers offer joy and hope. They celebrate the rich complexity of English as a global language. They are exacting, enlightening and entertaining. Really – read all of them.”

Gaby Wood, Literary Director of the Booker Prize Foundation, adds:

“Watching the 2019 Booker Prize judges arrive at this wonderful list has been an invigorating experience. Firstly because they deemed the calibre of the submissions to be extremely high overall. Secondly because they reached far and wide in their search for the best fiction of the year, calling in (among others) Young Adult novels and books that are sometimes dismissed as ‘commercial’. Thirdly because they effortlessly absorbed the quality of the writing without ever considering the passport of its author. And lastly because, exercising their sharp minds and varied tastes, the judges weighed up each book individually yet produced a collection that shows the incredible range of what’s being written today. There are familiar names here writing at the height of their powers, there are young writers of exceptional imagination and daring, there is wit, incisive political thought, stillness and thrill. And there is a plurality that shows the making of literature in English to be a global endeavour. The 2019 longlist is a testament to its extremely good health.”

The shortlist and winner announcements

The shortlist of six books will be announced on Tuesday 3 September at a morning press conference. The shortlisted authors each receive £2,500 and a specially bound edition of their book.

The 2019 winner will be announced on Monday 14 October at an awards ceremony at London’s Guildhall, one of the highlights of the cultural year. The ceremony will be broadcast by the BBC.

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