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The 2021 Booker Prize for Fiction shortlist is here – and this exciting debut novel made the cut

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The Booker Prize for Fiction shortlisted novels

Patricia Lockwood’s No One Is Talking About This is one of the six books on the 2021 Booker Prize for Fiction shortlist.

With the nights drawing in and the weather growing increasingly autumnal, now’s the perfect time to curl up with a new book. And if you’re looking for something new to read, you’re in luck – the Booker Prize for Fiction shortlist has just been announced.

The shortlist of six novels, selected from the 13-strong longlist which was announced earlier this year, was revealed this afternoon during a live online celebration by the 2021 Chair of Judges Maya Jasanoff.

2021 Booker Prize for Fiction Shortlist

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The six books were selected by the 2021 judging panel: historian and chair Maya Jasanoff, writer and editor Horatia Harrod, actor Natascha McElhone, twice Booker-shortlisted novelist and professor Chigozie Obioma, and writer and former Archbishop Rowan Williams.

While all of the novels on the shortlist are clearly deserving of the award, we’re most excited about Lockwood’s novel – which just so happens to be the author’s fiction debut.

The book, which is a unique take on the absurdity of the internet and what it means to be ‘online’ in the face of human loss, has not only made its way onto the Booker Prize for Fiction shortlist, but it was also one of the six books on the Women’s Prize for Fiction shortlist.  

No One Is Talking About This by Patricia Lockwood
Patricia Lockwood's No One Is Talking About This made the shortlist for the Women's Prize For Fiction, too.

And while Lockwood didn’t take home the prize – Susanna Clarke was named the winner for her gripping fantasy novel Piranesi – it’s clear that Lockwood’s novel has plenty going for it. 

Speaking about the decision faced by this year’s panel, Jasanoff said: “‘With so many ambitious and intelligent books before us, the judges engaged in rich discussions not only about the qualities of any given title, but often about the purpose of fiction itself. We are pleased to present a shortlist that delivers as wide a range of original stories as it does voices and styles.” 

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She continued: “Perhaps appropriately for our times, these novels share an interest in how individuals are both animated and constrained by forces larger than themselves… While each book is immersive in itself, together they are an expansive demonstration of what fiction is doing today.”

The 2021 winner will be announced on Wednesday 3 November, so we’ll have to wait and see which of the six novels will be selected to take home the prize. 

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Lauren Geall

As Stylist’s digital writer, Lauren Geall writes on topics including mental health, wellbeing and work. She’s also a big fan of houseplants and likes to dabble in film and TV from time-to-time.