Booker Prize Shortlist Announced

Carla Harmon
September 5, 2019

The judging panel said this year's shortlist offers an insight into different worlds from the dystopian setting of Gilead, the monologue of an OH housewife and the tragicomic tale of a travelling salesman in America; to mostly female, mostly Black, British lives across generations, the trials of a young Nigerian man on a quest to improve his prospects and true allegiances within the brothels of Istanbul.

Two previous winners, Margaret Atwood and Salman Rushdie, were shortlisted on Tuesday for the booker Prize for the best English-language fiction to be awarded in October.

Commenting on the nomination, Rushdie said: "It has been 19 years since "The Moor's Last Sigh" made it to the shortlist, so I'm obviously delighted".

The shortlist for the coveted annual honour was announced at the British Library in London yesterday.


Canadian author Margaret Atwood is shortlisted for The Testaments, which the judges describe as "terrifying and exhilarating".

The novel was offered up through watermarked copies which the judges each held in a safe place to avoid any spoilers leaking out.

Atwood is in contention again with The Testaments, her eagerly awaited follow-up to The Handmaid's Tale, while Sir Salman makes the cut with Quichotte.

Londoner Bernardine also shares shelf with Turkish novelist Elif Shafak, Nigerian Chigozie Obioma and Lucy Ellman whose novel, Ducks, Newburyport, is a massive 998-page-long stream of consciousness.


Mr Florence mentioned: 'There are sturdy instances to be made for all of those books. "I'm also happy to be chosen, alongside such terrific writers, to be part of an interesting, strong list".

Last year's victor was Northern Irish writer Anna Burns for "Milkman", which has sold around 546,500 copies in all formats since the award.

Her work has but to be revealed, which resulted in an "terribly complicated" means of non-disclosure agreements to ensure that the judging panel to have the ability to learn it, in response to Booker chairman Peter Florence.

The 2019 victor will be announced on October 14 in an awards ceremony in London's Guildhall and will be broadcasted live on BBC.


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