The Booker Prize 2019 longlist was announced on Wednesday. The 13 titles are:
The Testaments by Margaret Atwood
Night Boat to Tangier by Kevin Barry
My Sister, The Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite
Ducks, Newburyport by Lucy Ellmann
Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo
The Wall by John Lanchester
The Man Who Saw Everything by Deborah Levy
Lost Children Archive by Valeria Luiselli
An Orchestra of Minorities by Chigozie Obioma
Lanny by Max Porter
Quichotte by Salman Rushdie
10 Minutes 38 Seconds In This Strange World by Elif Shafak
Frankissstein by Jeanette Winterson
I posted a list of predictions last Sunday – part personal wish list and part those I thought might be successful based on trends from past longlists. In the end, I got four right: ‘Lost Children Archive’ by Valeria Luiselli which was also on the Women’s Prize for Fiction longlist, ‘Ducks, Newburyport’ by Lucy Ellmann which looks set to be the indie publishing hit of the year, ‘The Wall’ by John Lanchester and ‘The Testaments’ by Margaret Atwood. Overall, there are fewer surprises than usual in a longlist dominated by established names and previous prizewinners. My prediction about historical fiction hasn’t really transpired in the actual longlist which appears to be more focused on contemporary settings and issues, but I will still be looking out for the books I listed last week.
Eligibility runs from October to September of the prize year, so books due to be published in the later months are normally brought forward before the shortlist is announced due to the extra interest. However, as things stand, ‘The Testaments’ remains under strict embargo until its 10th September release date, even though the shortlist will be announced on 3rd September. The Booker Prize judges can’t give much away about the content of the book but have said it is “terrifying and exhilarating”. Here’s hoping it’s worth the wait.
I haven’t read any of the longlisted books yet. I am keen to start with ‘Lost Children Archive’ and ‘My Sister, The Serial Killer’ which were both on the Women’s Prize longlist. Bernardine Evaristo and Deborah Levy are two highly acclaimed authors I have heard lots of good things about too. I am also planning to read ‘The Overstory’ by Richard Powers soon which was on last year’s shortlist, so this year’s titles might have to wait a while.
What do you think of this year’s longlist? Have you read any of the nominated books? Which ones would you like to see on the shortlist?