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The Booker Prize 2022 'Stimulating and Surprising' Longlist Announced

The longlist for the Booker Prize 2022 – the leading literary award in the English speaking world – has been announced, with a ‘Booker Dozen’ selected. This year, in the words of Chair of Judges, Neil MacGregor, “The list offers story, fable and parable, fantasy, mystery, meditation and thriller”. Three debut novellists make the list, and it also features the youngest and oldest authors ever to be longlisted: 20-year-old Leila Mottley and Alan Garner, who will celebrate his 88th Birthday on the night of the winner ceremony.

The Longlist

What the judges said

The 2022 longlist was chosen by the judging panel: cultural historian, writer and broadcaster Neil MacGregor (Chair); academic and broadcaster Shahidha Bari; historian Helen Castor; novelist and critic M John Harrison; and novelist, poet and professor Alain Mabanckou.

Neil MacGregor, chair of the 2022 judges, says: ‘Over the last seven months or so, we have read and discussed 169 works of fiction, all written in English, by authors and about subjects from all over the globe. 169 journeys to worlds conjured and created by the wielding of words alone. The skill with which writers shape and sustain those variously imagined worlds, and allow others to inhabit them, has been our main criterion in proposing this longlist of 13 books. Exceptionally well written and carefully crafted, in whatever genre, they seem to us to exploit and expand what the language can do. The list that we have selected offers story, fable and parable, fantasy, mystery, meditation and thriller.’

Gaby Wood, director of the Booker Prize Foundation, adds: ’The 2022 Booker judges come from very different corners of the reading world, yet from the moment they met they have revelled in each other’s opinions and delighted in each other’s company.

‘The result is a set of books that are sometimes serious but never sombre, whose authors engage you with their wit, even as you absorb their dramatic, painful or provocative subject matter. It’s in this playfulness, of form or tone, that this year’s fiction is at its best.’

The shortlist and winner announcements

The shortlist of six books will be announced on Tuesday 6 September, at an evening event at the Serpentine Pavilion in London. The shortlisted authors each receive £2,500 and a specially bound edition of their book.

The 2022 winner will be announced on Monday 17 October in and award ceremony held at the Roundhouse and fully in person for the first time since 2019.

Get involved

What’s the best way to write a novel, especially one that’s good enough to make the Booker Prize longlist? The Booker Prize website team has been interviewing the authors on the 2022 longlist about their inspirations, how it feels to be nominated and, above all, their writing process. Reading these interviews might not unlock the secret of penning a future Booker winner, but you’ll learn more about the craft, dedication and passion (not to mention the personal quirks) that went into this year’s best novels. The Booker site has also published extracts from the opening chapter of each longlisted book, to help you decide which one to read next. If you’re still unsure, they’ve published a handy personality test, too, which selects a longlisted book for you based on your interests and reading habits.

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

For more information, visit the Booker Prize website.

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