Longlist announced for the 2019 Booker Prize

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The longlist, or ‘Booker Dozen’, for the 2019 Booker Prize was announced on Wednesday 24 July 2019. The Booker Prize is recognised as the leading prize for literary fiction written in English. The list of former winners features many of the literary giants of the last five decades: from Iris Murdoch to Salman Rushdie, Ian McEwan to Hilary Mantel.

Don’t miss the chance for your reading group to get involved in this year’s prize – visit our Noticeboard by 10 September to find out more.

This year’s longlist of 13 books 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.

The Booker “Dozen” 2019

Chair of the 2019 judges, Peter Florence, says:

“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.”

Gaby Wood, Literary Director of the Booker Prize Foundation, adds:

“Watching the 2019 Booker Prize judges arrive at this wonderful list has been an invigorating experience. Firstly because they deemed the calibre of the submissions to be extremely high overall. Secondly because they reached far and wide in their search for the best fiction of the year, calling in (among others) Young Adult novels and books that are sometimes dismissed as ‘commercial’. Thirdly because they effortlessly absorbed the quality of the writing without ever considering the passport of its author. And lastly because, exercising their sharp minds and varied tastes, the judges weighed up each book individually yet produced a collection that shows the incredible range of what’s being written today. There are familiar names here writing at the height of their powers, there are young writers of exceptional imagination and daring, there is wit, incisive political thought, stillness and thrill. And there is a plurality that shows the making of literature in English to be a global endeavour. The 2019 longlist is a testament to its extremely good health.”

Shortlist and winner

The shortlist will be announced on Tuesday 3 September and the winner be revealed on Monday 14 October.

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 has also now sold in nearly 40 languages, both in Europe and throughout Asia.

Get involved

We have an exclusive opportunity for twelve reading groups to shadow the prize shortlist, reading and reviewing one of the books before the judges choose a winner. Two groups will read each shortlisted book If you would like to apply, please visit our Noticeboard.

Listen to the brilliant Booker Prize podcast audio series on Soundcloud with Joe Haddow from Radio 2.

Have you read any of the longlisted books? Share your thoughts with us on Twitter and Instagram using #FinestFiction and #BookerPrize2019, or click on a title above to leave a review.

For more information, visit the Booker Prize website.

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