The 2020 Booker Prize shortlist has just been announced and all six of the shortlisted authors are new to the prize! Four debut novels have been included on this year’s shortlist.
This year’s shortlist is being considered to be the most diverse line-up in the prize’s history, as four writers among its six authors are of colour.
However, some of the literary heavy-hitters, including Hilary Mantel have missed out this time. Her latest work, ‘The Mirror and The Light‘, the final novel in her Thomas Cromwell trilogy failed to make the cut. Both previous titles in her trilogy, ‘Wolf Hall‘ and ‘Bring Up the Bodies‘, had won. Anne Tyler and Colum McCann also failed to make the final cut
The 2020 Booker Prize nominees are Diane Cook, Tsitsi Dangarembga, Avni Doshi, Maaza Mengiste, Douglas Stuart and Brandon Taylor. All the authors are based outside the United Kingdom.
Diane Cook, Avni Doshi, Douglas Stuart and Brandon Taylor – are the four debut novelists, who are up against the acclaimed Zimbabwean Tsitsi Dangarembga, and the Ethiopian-American Maaza Mengiste for the prestigious award.
Tsitsi Dangarembga made the Booker Prize line-up for This Mournable Body, a sequel to her 1988 novel Nervous Conditions.
Maaza Mengiste, the first Ethiopian writer to make the Booker shortlist, has been shortlisted for her work, The Shadow King.
The other novels shortlisted for the £50,000 award include – Diane Cook’s The New Wilderness; Avni Doshi’s Burnt Sugar; Brandon Taylor’s Real Life; and Douglas Stuart’s Shuggie Bain.
Gaby Wood, literary director of the Booker Prize Foundation, said as the shortlist was announced, “No one wins the Booker prize because of who they are. A book wins because of what it does. What has transpired is a testament to the judges’ faith in – among other things – first fictions: they have found these writers to have much to say, and found them to have said it in a way that became even richer on a second reading.”
In 2019, the award was jointly won by The Testaments by Margaret Atwood and Girl, Woman, Other by Bernadine Evaristo.
The winner of the literary award will be announced on November 17th, 2020.