The Booker Prize Longlist 2019 Announced

By July 26, 2019Literary Awards, News

This week the much-awaited Booker Prize Longlist or “Booker Dozen” was announced with, as usual, a few surprises.

This year’s panel of 5 judges are Chairman Peter Florence, founder and director of Hay Festival; Liz Calder, former fiction publisher and editor; Xiaolu Guo, novelist, essayist and filmmaker; Afua Hirsch, writer, broadcaster and former barrister; and Joanna Macgregor, concert pianist, conductor and composer.

The list comprises of some extremely well-known authors as well as relative newcomers. How many have you read? Can you predict the short-list? Here’s a little about each book to help you decide.

Margaret Atwood – The Testaments

One of two previous winners on this year’ list, Margaret Atwood’s much-awaited follow up to The Handmaid’s Tale is a well-guarded secret and isn’t released until September this year. It’s set 15 years on from the original story and is sure to be a hit with Atwood’s fans.

The Testaments

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Kevin Barry – Night Boat to Tangier

Barry’s deeply dark tale of ageing Irish gangsters is both hilariously funny and full of menace. Can these fading criminals pull their lives back together?

Night Boat to Tangier

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Oyinkan Braithwaite – My Sister, The Serial Killer

Braithwaite is one of two Nigerians on this year’s list. Her novel which is the only debut on this year’s list was shortlisted for this year’s Women’s Prize.

My Sister the Serial Killer

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Lucy Ellmann – Ducks, Newburyport

If you’re looking for a long read, this one is for you. Ellman’s 1000 page extraordinary novel is 426,100 words, one single sentence. Yes, that’s right, no paragraphs or full stops! Take a deep breath.

Ducks, Newburyport

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Bernardine Evaristo – Girl, Woman, Other

Evaristo’s eighth book, set in modern Britain, is the story of generations of black British women told in beautifully lyrical free verse.

Girl, Woman, Other

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John Lanchester – The Wall

A dystopian (or is it?) tale of borders being erected in a time of climate crisis, The Wall is Lanchester’s fifth novel.

The Wall

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Deborah Levy – The Man Who Saw Everything

Levy’s latest novel, a story of beauty, envy and carelessness is her 3rd nomination for the prize. She was shortlisted in 2016 for “Hot Milk”.

The Man Who Saw Everything

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Valeria Luiselli – Lost Children Archive

This is Mexican Luiselli’s first novel written in English. It compares two very different journeys, an American family’s road trip south, with that of a group of migrant children travelling north to the US border.

Lost Children Archive

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Chigozie Obioma – An Orchestra of Minorities

The second Nigerian on the list, Obioma was shortlisted for the prize in 2015 for his novel “The Fishermen”. His latest novel is a contemporary twist on The Odyssey.

An Orchestra of Minorities

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Max Porter – Lanny

Lanny is “rising-star” Porter’s tale of an unusual little boy and his neighbours, set in a village “not far from London”,


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Salman Rushdie – Quichotte

The second of the list’s previous winners, Rushdie, won the Booker Prize in 1981, almost 4 decades ago. Quichotte is the story of a road trip through America inspired by Don Quixote.


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Elif Shafak – 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World

Shafak was longlisted for The Orange Prize in 2008. Her latest novel set in Istanbul is the distressing story of a dying sex worker.

10 Minutes 38 Seconds in this Strange World

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Jeanette Winterson – Frankissstein

Winterson’s latest novel is a modern retelling of the still much loved Mary Shelley classic set predominantly in Brexit Britain.


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Watch this space for the Shortlist revealed on 3rd September and the winner on 14th October.

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