An eclectic longlist announced for 2020 Booker Prize for Fiction

The 2020 Longlist for the Booker Prize has today been unveiled, bringing with it its fair share of surprises. Though the inclusion of one title, Hilary Mantel‘s The Mirror & The Light, will likely shock no-one. That said this year’s longlist looks to be an eclectic mixture of established talents and debut authors. That the majority of the nominated novels come from US authors is also notable, especially given the continued ‘heated’ debate over the decision to open up the award to authors from the USA.

The so-called ‘Booker Dozen’, was selected by a panel of five judges: Margaret Busby (Chair), author Lee Child, author and critic Sameer Rahim, writer and broadcaster Lemn Sissay, and classicist Emily Wilson.

The longlist was whittled down from an entry list of 162 novels published in the UK and Ireland between October 1st 2019 and 30th September 2020. The Booker Prize for Fiction is open to writers of any nationality, writing in English and published in the UK or Ireland.

Chair of the 2020 Judges Margaret Busby had this to say about the longlist:

“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.”

The novels making the 2020 Booker Prize for Fiction longlist are:

Diane CookThe New Wilderness

Tsitsi DangarembgaThis Mournable Body

Avni DoshiBurnt Sugar

Gabriel KrauseWho They Was

Hilary MantelThe Mirror & The Light

Colum McCannApeirogon

Maaza MengisteThe Shadow King

Kiley ReidSuch A Fun Age

Brandon TaylorReal Life

Anne TylerRedhead By The Side Of The Road

Douglas StuartShuggie Bain

Sophie WardLove and Other Thought Experiments 

C Pam ZhangHow Much of These Hills is Gold

The six book shortlist will be revealed on Tuesday 15 September, with the 2020 winner crowned in November. The winner of the 2020 Booker Prize receives £50,000 and can expect international recognition. The shortlisted authors each receive £2,500 and a specially bound edition of their book.

Simon Clark

Books Editor. An admirer of songs and reader of books. Simon has a PhD in English and Comparative Literature. All errant apostrophes are his own.