Booker Prize 2021 long list

July 29, 2021 · 6:14 p.m.

The long list of Booker Awards was published on Tuesday. These are the 13 titles:

A Passage North Anuk by Arudpragasam
Second place went to Rachel Cusk
Damon Galguten Promise
The Sweetness of Water by Nathan Harris
Clara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro
An Island, by Karen Jennings
A Town Called Solace by Mary Lawson
No one is talking about this at the hands of Patricia Lockwood
Nadifa Mohameden Fortune Men
Richard Powers’ surprise
Sunjeev Sahoa Hall of China
Maggie Shipstead’s Great Circle
Francis Spufforden Light Perpetual

In the publication of my predictions last Sunday, I guessed five of the 13 well-respected ones are respectable, including the three heavy literary weights previously won or nominated (Ishiguro, Cusk, and Galgut), as well as Patricia Lockwood and Maggie Shipstead. This year’s long list certainly leans more towards fixed authors, with only two premieres. They are Nathan Harris’s ‘The Sweetness of Water’, set in South America, just after the end of the Civil War, and Patricia Lockwood’s ‘No One Is Talking About This’.

I have already read Francis Spufford’s Light Perpetual, although not entirely convinced of the ways in which the concept of alternative history is realized. I’m looking forward to reading Ishiguro and Shipstead’s latest novels and I also have a review copy of Sunjeev Sahota’s ‘China Room’, which was nominated for the 2015 Booker Prize and Young Writer of the Year Award for its second prize. Year of the Fugitives novel.

The shortlist will be announced on Tuesday, September 14th. What do you think of this year’s long list?

RC Verma

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