The 2019 Booker Prize Shortlist has been announced – and it’s very exciting.
Bookworms assemble; the next six books to hit your bookshelf have been announced in the form of the Booker Prize shortlist, and joyously more than half the nominees are female authors.
As one of the world’s most prestigious literary awards, with a legacy that goes back 50 years, to see women make up four of the six finalists (and two of the six people of colour) is heartening news. The list is a diverse one with authors like the iconic Margaret Atwood – with the highly anticipated sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale – sitting alongside writers like 33-year-old Chigozie Obioma, whose third novel has been shortlisted.
Gaby Wood, literary director of the Booker Prize Foundation, said: “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.”
Bernardine Evaristo, Chigozie Obioma, Elif Shafak, Lucy Ellmann, Margaret Atwood and Salman Rushdie will now all have to wait until 14 October to find out who will be awarded the title and £50,000 prize, but that gives us plenty of time to get cracking with this seriously good bedtime reading.
The Testaments by Margaret Atwood
Ducks, Newburyport by Lucy Ellmann
Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo
10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World by Elif Shafak
Quichotte by Salman Rushdie
An Orchestra of Minorities by Chigozie Obioma
Image: Booker Prize