2019 Booker Prize nominees announced; eight of 13 are women


The longlist of nominees for one of the world’s most prestigious literary prizes, the UK’s Booker Prize, was announced in London today.

The list was chosen from 151 novels published in the UK or Ireland between October 1, 2018 and September 30, 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.

The 2019 longlist, or “Booker Dozen,” of 13 novels (publishers listed are for the UK editions):

  • 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)

This year’s longlist of 13 books — including eight by women — was 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.

Peter Florence, Chair of the 2019 judges, introduced the nominees by saying:

“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.”

Many of the nominees will be unfamiliar to American readers, as they have not yet been published in the U.S. A few will not be published (in the UK or U.S.) until August or September, but advance reader copies (ARCs) have been available for reviewers and contest judging committees for several months.

The shortlist of six books will be announced on September 3 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 October 14 at an awards ceremony at London’s Guildhall. The ceremony will be broadcast by the BBC.

The winner of the 2019 Booker Prize receives £50,000 and can expect international recognition. In the week following the 2018 winner announcement, sales of Milkman by Anna Burns increased by 880% from 963 in the week prior to the announcement to 9,446 in the week following the announcement, then a further 99% (9,446 to 18,786) the following week. The total number of copies of Milkman sold, across all formats, is currently 546,500.

Milkman is also now sold in nearly 40 languages, both in Europe and throughout Asia and Anna Burns is in the process of negotiating a film deal. As well as winning the Man Booker Prize in 2018, Milkman went on to win the Orwell Prize for Political Fiction, National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction and was shortlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction and Rathbone Folio Prize in 2019.

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