The long list for the Booker Prize 2019 has been announced, and the best way to describe it would be — exciting and eclectic. However, the 13 novels in the list include books by some familiar authors like Margaret Atwood and Salman Rushdie, it also marks exclusions of other writers like Ian McEwan and Ali Smith.
The list includes Atwood’s The Testaments, a sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale and Rushdie’s Quichotte, which as the name suggests, has been inspired by Don Quixote and traces the journey of an ageing salesman in love with a TV star.
Also on the list is Jeanette Winterson for Frankissstein, a modern-day reinterpretation of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein; Max Porter’s Lanny, which is about a boy missing in a commuter town; Bernadine Evaristo’s verse novel Girl, Woman, which gives a compelling picture of experiences of black women; and Deborah Levy’s The Man Who Saw Everything, a novel that experiments and flits with time zones.
It also features John Lanchester’s The Wall, a dystopic fiction; Ducks, Newburyport by Lucy Ellmann, which has been described by the judges, according to a report in The Guardian, as “brilliantly conceived, and challenges the reader with its virtuosity and originality … A cacophony of humour, violence, and Joycean wordplay, it engages – furiously – with the detritus of domesticity as well as Trump’s America.”
Turkish novelist Elif Shafak has been nominated for 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World, an engaging work detailing an incident of a sex worker in Istanbul whose corpse was left in a bin; Chigozie Obioma for Orchestra of Minorities, based loosely on the Odyssey; Kevin Barry’s crime fiction Night Boat to Tangie; and Valeria Luiselli, Mexican-Italian writer, for her first book English, Lost Children Archive.
Nigerian-British author Oyinkan Braithwaite is the youngest writer on the list for her novel My Sister, the Serial Killer.
The shortlist will be announced on September 3, and the winner will be declared on October 14.