The shortlisted candidate for the 2019 Booker Prize has been announced, with former winners Salman Rushdie and Margaret Atwood among other authors competing for the prestigious award.
The six shortlisted authors – two men and four women – were declared on September 3 by the 2019 Chair of Judges Peter Florence, at a press release at the British Library in London.
2019 Booker Prize for Fiction is open to writers of any nationality, medium of writing is English and published in Ireland or the United Kingdom between October 1, 2018 and September 30, 2019.
Shortlist For 2019 Booker Prize:
Lucy Ellmann (UK/USA) – Ducks, Newburyport (Galley Beggar Press)
Salman Rushdie (UK/India) – Quichotte (Jonathan Cape)
Margaret Atwood (Canada) – The Testaments (Chatto & Windus)
Chigozie Obioma (Nigeria) – An Orchestra of Minorities (Little Brown)
Bernardine Evaristo (UK) – Girl, Woman, Other (Hamish Hamilton)
Elif Shafak (Turkey/UK) – 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World(Viking)
Peter Florence commented that “like all great literature, these books teem with life, with a profound and celebratory humanity.”
He continued, “The common thread is our admiration for the extraordinary ambition of each of these books. There is an abundance of humour, of political and cultural engagement, of stylistic daring and astonishing beauty of language. Like all great literature, these books teem with life, with a profound and celebratory humanity. We have a shortlist of six extraordinary books and we could make a case for each of them as winner, but I want to toast all of them as ‘winners’. Anyone who reads all six of these books would be enriched and delighted, would be awe-struck by the power of story, and encouraged by what literature can do to set our imaginations free.”
Literary Director of the Booker Prize Foundation, Gaby Wood has said that “it was hard to watch the judges narrow down their longlist to this shortlist: they were so committed to all 13 of the books they’d chosen just over a month ago that the discussion was intense. Still, these six remain extraordinary: they bring news of different worlds; they carry a wealth of lives and voices; they’re in conversation, in various ways, with other works of literature. I think it’s fair to say that the judges weren’t looking for anything in particular – they entered this process with an open mind – but this is what they found: a set of novels that is political, orchestral, fearless, felt. And now, by association, those six will be in fruitful conversation with one another.”
The candidates were finally shortlisted from 151 novels published in Ireland or the United Kingdom by a panel of five judges.
The shortlisted authors each has received £2500 and a specially bound edition of their book.
2019 Booker Prize Winner will be announced on 14 October at an award ceremony in the Guildhall at London and broadcast by the BBC.