The longlist for the 2021 Booker Prize has been announced. The list was chosen of 158 titles published in the UK and Ireland between October 1, 2020 and September 30, 2021
The shortlist of for the 2021 Booker Prize will be announced on Tuesday ,September 14. The 2021 winner will be announced on Wednesday, November 3. The winner of the 2021 Booker Prize receives £50,000 and can expect international recognition. The shortlisted authors each receive £2,500 and a specially bound edition of their book.
And now for the longlisted books:
A Passage North by Anuk Arudpragasam
A young man journeys into Sri Lanka’s war-torn north in this searing novel of longing, loss, and the legacy of war from the award-winning author of The Story of a Brief Marriage. (Credit: Hogarth Press)
Second Place by Rachel Cusk
A woman invites a famed artist to visit the remote coastal region where she lives, in the belief that his vision will penetrate the mystery of her life and landscape. His provocative presence provides the frame for a study of female fate and male privilege, of the geometries of human relationships, and of the struggle to live morally in the intersecting spaces of our internal and external worlds. (Credit: Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
The Promise by Damon Galgut
Haunted by an unmet promise, the Swart family loses touch after the death of their matriarch. Adrift, the lives of the three siblings move separately through the uncharted waters of South Africa; Anton, the golden boy who bitterly resents his life’s unfulfilled promises; Astrid, whose beauty is her power; and the youngest, Amor, whose life is shaped by a nebulous feeling of guilt.
Reunited by four funerals over three decades, the dwindling family reflects the atmosphere of its country — an atmosphere of resentment, renewal, and–ultimately–hope. The Promise is an epic drama that unfurls against the unrelenting march of national history, sure to please current fans and attract many new ones. (Credit: Europa Editions)
The Sweetness of Water by Nathan Harris
This life is like being in an ocean. Some people keep swimming towards the bottom. Some people touch the bottom with
In the dying days of the American Civil War, newly freed brothers Landry and Prentiss find themselves cast into the world without a penny to their names. Forced to hide out in the woods near their former Georgia plantation, they’re soon discovered by the land’s owner, George Walker, a man still reeling from the loss of his son in the war.
When the brothers begin to live and work on George’s farm, the tentative bonds of trust and union begin to blossom between the strangers. But this sanctuary survives on a knife’s edge, and it isn’t long before the inhabitants of the nearby town of Old Ox react with fury at the alliances being formed only a few miles away. (Credit: Little Brown and Company)
Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro
Klara and the Sun, the first novel by Kazuo Ishiguro since he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, tells the story of Klara, an Artificial Friend with outstanding observational qualities, who, from her place in the store, watches carefully the behavior of those who come in to browse, and of those who pass on the street outside. She remains hopeful that a customer will soon choose her.
Klara and the Sun is a thrilling book that offers a look at our changing world through the eyes of an unforgettable narrator, and one that explores the fundamental question: what does it mean to love? (Credit: Knopf Publishing Group)
An Island by Karen Jennings
Samuel has lived alone for a long time; one morning he finds the sea has brought someone to offer companionship and to threaten his solitude…
A young refugee washes up unconscious on the beach of a small island inhabited by no one but Samuel, an old lighthouse keeper. Unsettled, Samuel is soon swept up in memories of his former life on the mainland: a life that saw his country suffer under colonisers, then fight for independence, only to fall under the rule of a cruel dictator; and he recalls his own part in its history. In this new man’s presence he begins to consider, as he did in his youth, what is meant by land and to whom it should belong. To what lengths will a person go in order to ensure that what is theirs will not be taken from them? (Credit: Holland House Books)
A Town Called Solace by Mary Lawson
As A Town Called Solace opens, we meet a family in crisis: their rebellious teenage daughter, Rose, has disappeared. Weeks have passed with no word, but still Rose’s little sister, Clara, keeps a daily vigil at the living-room window, hoping that Rose will come back. Feisty and fierce, Clara is not only missing Rose; she is also missing her elderly friend and next-door neighbour, Mrs. Orchard, a retired schoolteacher who is away in hospital. While standing at the window, Clara keeps an eye out for Rose and an eye on Mrs. Orchard’s house.
Then, one afternoon, a strange young man in a strange car pulls into Mrs. Orchard’s driveway and proceeds to move into the house as if he owns the place. Which it turns out he does: Mrs. Orchard has died and left it to him. Soon we discover that Clara’s beloved Mrs. Orchard has a complicated and tragic past, and the real mystery at the heart of this novel is what happened between her and Liam, the man in the car. (Credit: Knopf Canada)
No One Is Talking about This by Patricia Lockwood
As this urgent, genre-defying book opens, a woman who has recently been elevated to prominence for her social media posts travels around the world to meet her adoring fans. She is overwhelmed by navigating the new language and etiquette of what she terms the portal, where she grapples with an unshakable conviction that a vast chorus of voices is now dictating her thoughts. When existential threats–from climate change and economic precariousness to the rise of an unnamed dictator and an epidemic of loneliness–begin to loom, she posts her way deeper into the portal’s void. An avalanche of images, details, and references accumulate to form a landscape that is post-sense, post-irony, post-everything. Are we in hell? the people of the portal ask themselves. Are we all just going to keep doing this until we die?
Suddenly, two texts from her mother pierce the fray: Something has gone wrong, and How soon can you get here? As real life and its stakes collide with the increasingly absurd antics of the portal, the woman confronts a world that seems to contain both an abundance of proof that there is goodness, empathy, and justice in the universe, and a deluge of evidence to the contrary. (Credit: Riverhead Books)
The Fortune Men by Nadifa Mohamed
Mahmood Mattan is a fixture in Cardiff’s Tiger Bay, 1952, which bustles with Somali and West Indian sailors, Maltese businessmen and Jewish families. He is a father, chancer, some-time petty thief. He is many things, in fact, but he is not a murderer.
So when a shopkeeper is brutally killed and all eyes fall on him, Mahmood isn’t too worried. It is true that he has been getting into trouble more often since his Welsh wife Laura left him. But Mahmood is secure in his innocence in a country where, he thinks, justice is served.
It is only in the run-up to the trial, as the prospect of freedom dwindles, that it will dawn on Mahmood that he is in a terrifying fight for his life – against conspiracy, prejudice and the inhumanity of the state. And, under the shadow of the hangman’s noose, he begins to realise that the truth may not be enough to save him. (Credit: Viking)
Bewilderment by Richard Powers
The astrobiologist Theo Byrne searches for life throughout the cosmos while single-handedly raising his unusual nine-year-old, Robin, following the death of his wife. Robin is a warm, kind boy who spends hours painting elaborate pictures of endangered animals. He’s also about to be expelled from third grade for smashing his friend in the face. As his son grows more troubled, Theo hopes to keep him off psychoactive drugs. He learns of an experimental neurofeedback treatment to bolster Robin’s emotional control, one that involves training the boy on the recorded patterns of his mother’s brain…(Credit: William Heineman)
China Room by Sunjeev Sahota
Mehar, a young bride in rural 1929 Punjab, is trying to discover the identity of her new husband. She and her sisters-in-law, married to three brothers in a single ceremony, spend their days hard at work in the family’s ‘china room’, sequestered from contact with the men. When Mehar develops a theory as to which of them is hers, a passion is ignited that will put more than one life at risk. (Credit: Viking)
Great Circle by Maggie Shipstead
After being rescued as infants from a sinking ocean liner in 1914, Marian and Jamie Graves are raised by their dissolute uncle in Missoula, Montana. There–after encountering a pair of barnstorming pilots passing through town in beat up biplanes–Marian commences her lifelong love affair with flight. At fifteen, she drops out of school and finds an unexpected and dangerous patron in a wealthy bootlegger who provides a plane and subsidizes her lessons, an arrangement that will haunt her for the rest of her life, even as it allows her to fulfill her destiny: circumnavigating the globe by flying over the North and South poles.
A century later, Hadley Baxter is cast to play Marian in a film that centers on Marian’s disappearance in Antarctica. Vibrant, canny, disgusted with the claustrophobia of Hollywood, Hadley is eager to re-define herself after a romantic film franchise has imprisoned her in the grip of cult celebrity. Her immersion into the character of Marian unfolds, thrillingly, alongside Marian’s own story, as the two women’s fates–and their hunger for self-determination in vastly different geographies and times–collide. (Credit: Knopf Publishing Group)
Light Perpetual by Francis Spufford
Lunchtime on a Saturday, 1944: the Woolworths on Bexford High Street in southeast London receives a delivery of aluminum saucepans. A crowd gathers to see the first new metal in ages—after all, everything’s been melted down for the war effort. An instant later, the crowd is gone; incinerated. Among the shoppers were five young children.
Who were they? What futures did they lose? This brilliantly constructed novel lets an alternative reel of time run, imagining the life arcs of these five souls as they live through the extraordinary, unimaginable changes of the bustling immensity of twentieth-century London. Their intimate everyday dramas, as sons and daughters, spouses, parents, grandparents; as the separated, the remarried, the bereaved. Through decades of social, sexual, and technological transformation, as bus conductors and landlords, as swindlers and teachers, patients and inmates. Days of personal triumphs, disasters; of second chances and redemption.