The Booker Prize longlist was announced on Tuesday. The 13 titles are:
A Passage North by Anuk Arudpragasam
Second Place by Rachel Cusk
The Promise by Damon Galgut
The Sweetness of Water by Nathan Harris
Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro
An Island by Karen Jennings
A Town Called Solace by Mary Lawson
No One is Talking About This by Patricia Lockwood
The Fortune Men by Nadifa Mohamed
Bewilderment by Richard Powers
China Room by Sunjeev Sahota
Great Circle by Maggie Shipstead
Light Perpetual by Francis Spufford
In my predictions post last Sunday, I correctly guessed five out of 13 which is pretty respectable, including three literary heavyweights who have previously won or been nominated for the Prize (Ishiguro, Cusk and Galgut) as well as Patricia Lockwood and Maggie Shipstead. This year’s longlist definitely leans more towards established authors, with just two debuts making the cut. They are ‘The Sweetness of Water’ by Nathan Harris which is set in the American South just after the end of the Civil War, and ‘No One Is Talking About This’ by Patricia Lockwood.
I have already read Light Perpetual by Francis Spufford, although I wasn’t fully convinced by the way in which the alternative history concept was executed. I am particularly looking forward to reading the latest novels by Ishiguro and Shipstead and I also have a review copy of ‘China Room’ by Sunjeev Sahota, who was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and the Young Writer of the Year Award in 2015 for his second novel The Year of the Runaways.
The shortlist will be announced on Tuesday 14 September. What are your thoughts on this year’s longlist?
10 responses to “The Booker Prize 2021 Longlist”
I’ve heard of a few of them but the only one I’ve read is Light Perpetual and, like you, I had reservations about it. To be honest, I’m quite surprised to see it on the list. I like the diversity of the list and there a few I’d like to read, for example The Sweetness of Water.
I hadn’t heard of The Sweetness of Water until it was longlisted but will look out for it. I’m particularly looking forward to Great Circle and China Room.
Your 5/13 is the best prediction success rate I saw this year! I had mixed feelings about Light Perpetual as well, but somehow I knew that with Rowan Williams on the judging panel it would be longlisted. I already happened to be reading the Cusk and Ishiguro and have added in China Room to the stack as well. I’ve read the Lawson and Lockwood and will probably read a few others, including Powers and Shipstead. The one I hadn’t heard of at all but am intrigued by is An Island, which I hope to get hold of.
Thanks, I’m pretty satisfied with a 5/13 prediction success rate! Looking forward to Great Circle and China Room in particular.
I have now read nine of the thirteen titles. There is not one I would not happily see on the shortlist, but my out and out favourites are: The Fortune Men and Great Circle. I think that No One is Talking About This will also be there as it is so unusual. I can hardly wait for the other four titles to arrive.
Sorry for the late reply. Glad to hear you enjoyed Great Circle – I have a copy of it now and plan to start reading it soon.
Only just catching up with list and it’s an interesting one, none of which I’ve read. I do like to see new authors, a couple are on Oprah and Obama’s reading lists which will ensure they gain traction, I happen to have Mary Lawson’s A Town Called Solace because I was looking for a gentle read after a reading drought, so I was surprised to see it on there – very Anne Tylerish but also very visual, it’s one of those novels you almost feel like you are watching, the characters and their environment so acutely drawn.
I’m interested in the Sri Lankan A Passage North by Anuk Arudpragasam having recalled wishing to read his earlier novel.
I might look into the Lawson novel at some point, it does sound like one I would enjoy!
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