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Old Favorites and New Discoveries on the 2020 Booker Prize Longlist

Jul 30, 2020

One of the biggest literary prizes of the year just got a little closer for thirteen authors. The Booker Prize 2020 Longlist was announced this week, and there were lots of surprises on it! Hilary Mantel’s placement on the list for The Mirror and the Light is not a shock, since she won twice before for the previous two books in the Wolf Hall series. On the other hand, there are a staggering eight titles by debut authors this year!

Formerly reserved for writers from Britain, Ireland and the Commonwealth, since 2013 the judges now consider books by authors from anywhere in the world as long as they are published in English in the UK. This change has been controversial, with many suggesting that the prize will be dominated by American writers—and this year, in fact, nine authors were born in the US or have US citizenship. The authors on this list this year represent diverse backgrounds and life experiences, and their works range from speculative fiction, to historical fiction to modern realism and autofiction.

OPL currently has 10 of the 13 titles on our shelves or on order, but there are three books we can’t add to our collection yet because they aren’t available in Canada. We will order Burnt Sugar, Who We Was and, Love and Other Thought Experiments as soon as we can! The final shortlist of six titles will be announced on September 15.