Booker Prize 2020: Hilary Mantel, Tsitsi Dangarembga, Kiley Reid and more make longlist

Booker Prize 2020: Hilary Mantel, Tsitsi Dangarembga, Kiley Reid and more make longlist

Booker Prize 2020: Hilary Mantel, Tsitsi Dangarembga, Kiley Reid and more make longlist

Booker Prize 2020: Hilary Mantel, Tsitsi Dangarembga, Kiley Reid and more make longlist

Booker Prize 2020: Hilary Mantel, Tsitsi Dangarembga, Kiley Reid and more make longlist 1

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The 2020 Booker Prize longlist has been unveiled, with authors such as Dame Hilary Mantel, Tsitsi Dangarembga and Kiley Reid all in the running for the prestigious prize.

All 13 books on the longlist – known as the Booker Dozen – were chosen from 162 novels published in the UK or Ireland between October 2019 and September 2020.

Mantel has won the Booker Prize twice in the past: in 2009 for Wolf Hall and in 2012 for Bring Up the Bodies. She has earned her latest spot on the longlist thanks to the third book in her Cromwell trilogy, The Mirror & The Light.


This year’s longlist features eight debut novelists (Diane Cook, Avni Doshi, Gabriel Krauze, Kiley Reid, Douglas Stuart, Brandon Taylor, Sophie Ward, and C Pam Zhang). It includes nine women and four men.

Five judges selected this year’s 13 titles: Margaret Busby (chair), editor, literary critic and former publisher; Lee Child, author; Sameer Rahim, author and critic; Lemn Sissay, writer and broadcaster; and Emily Wilson, classicist and translator.

The 13 books longlisted for the 2020 Booker Prize:

The New Wilderness by Diane Cook

This Mournable Body by Tsitsi Dangarembga

Burnt Sugar by Avni Doshi

Who They Was by Gabriel Krauze

The Mirror & The Light by Hilary Mantel

Apeirogon by Colum McCann

The Shadow King by Maaza Mengiste

Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid

Real Life by Brandon Taylor

Redhead by the Side of the Road by Anne Tyler

Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart

Love and Other Thought Experiments by Sophie Ward

How Much of These Hills is Gold by C Pam Zhang

The shortlist, comprised of six books, will be unveiled on 15 September. The winner of the 2020 Booker Prize will be announced in November.

“Each of these books carries an impact that has earned it a place on the longlist, deserving of wide readership,” Margaret Busby, the chair of the 2020 jury, said.

“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. There are voices from minorities often unheard, stories that are fresh, bold and absorbing. The best fiction enables the reader to relate to other people’s lives; sharing experiences that we could not ourselves have imagined is as powerful as being able to identify with characters.”

She praised the writers’ “well-crafted prose, the mastery of detail, the arresting sentence, the credibility of the narrative arc, the ability to use to the full the resources of storytelling”.

Gaby Wood, the literary director of the Booker Prize Foundation, highlighted the “unusually high proportion” of debuts on the list, adding: “In this year of seismic change, visibility for new books published in the UK has been drastically low.

“So, however unintended the ratio, it’s especially heartening to know that some authors who have launched their careers in the midst of Covid-19 may now have a chance to reach the readers they deserve.”


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