The 2023 longlist for the Booker Prize – the world’s most influential prize for a single work of fiction – is announced today, Tuesday, 1 August 2023.
The books explore universal and topical themes: from deeply moving personal dramas to tragi-comic family sagas; from the effects of climate change to the oppression of minorities; from scientific breakthroughs to competitive sport.
- A Spell of Good Things by Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀ ̀(Canongate)
- Old God’s Time by Sebastian Barry (Faber & Faber)
- Study for Obedience by Sarah Bernstein (Granta Books)
- If I Survive You by Jonathan Escoffery (4th Estate)
- How to Build a Boat by Elaine Feeney (Harvill Secker)
- This Other Eden by Paul Harding (Hutchinson Heinemann)
- Pearl by Siân Hughes (The Indigo Press)
- All the Little Bird-Hearts by Viktoria Lloyd-Barlow (Tinder Press)
- Prophet Song by Paul Lynch (Oneworld)
- In Ascension by Martin MacInnes (Atlantic Books)
- Western Lane by Chetna Maroo (Picador)
- The Bee Sting by Paul Murray (Hamish Hamilton)
- The House of Doors by Tan Twan Eng (Canongate)
What the judges said
The longlist of 13 books – the ‘Booker Dozen’ – has been chosen by the 2023 judging panel, which is chaired by twice-shortlisted novelist Esi Edugyan. She is joined by actor, writer and director Adjoa Andoh; poet, lecturer, editor and critic Mary Jean Chan; author and professor James Shapiro; and actor and writer Robert Webb.
Esi Edugyan, Chair of the 2023 judges, says:
‘We read 163 novels across seven months, and in that time whole worlds opened to us. We were transported to early 20th century Maine and Penang, to the vibrant streets of Lagos and the squash courts of London, to the blackest depths of the Atlantic, and into a dystopic Ireland where the terrifying loss of rights comes as a hard warning.
The list is defined by its freshness – by the irreverence of new voices, by the iconoclasm of established ones. All 13 novels cast new light on what it means to exist in our time, and they do so in original and thrilling ways. Their range is vast, both in subject and form: they shocked us, made us laugh, filled us with anguish, but above all they stayed with us. This is a list to excite, challenge, delight, a list to bring wonder. The novels are small revolutions, each seeking to energise and awaken the language. Together – whether historical or contemporary – they offer startling portraits of the current.
Gaby Wood, Chief Executive of the Booker Prize Foundation, adds:
The range of experience, expertise and sensibility among this year’s judges led them to seek novels that both advanced the form and allowed the reader to understand something about the world; books that would have impact and longevity; books that moved them – and above all, books of such excellence and subtlety that the judges looked forward to re-reading them.
It’s a pleasure to add to the Booker Library this selection of debut novels, new work from established Booker authors, and books by other writers at the peak of their practice who are new to the prize. We hope every reader finds something to love on this year’s list.
The shortlist and winner announcements
The shortlist of six books will be announced on Thursday, 21 September at an evening event at the newly re-opened National Portrait Gallery in London. It will be livestreamed across all the Booker Prizes’ social platforms. The shortlisted authors each receive £2,500 and a specially bound edition of their book.
The 2023 winner will be announced on Sunday, 26 November at an award ceremony held at Old Billingsgate. The winner receives £50,000 and a trophy designed by the late Jan Pieńkowski. In a recent public vote, the trophy was named ‘Iris’ in honour of the 1978 Booker winner Iris Murdoch.
If you work in a library or workplace and would like to promote the prize, you can download a free physical and digital pack from our shop.
For more information, visit the Booker Prize website.
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The Booker Prizes’ Book of the Month
Each month the Booker Prizes’ Book of the Month shines a spotlight on a different work of fiction from among the 600+ titles in the Booker Library, through reading guides, extracts, opinion pieces, competitions and discussions on our social channels. We will be updating this page on our website every month. Find out more here.