Bernardine Evaristo, Chigozie Obioma on the Booker Prize 2019 shortlist.

Bernardine Evaristo, Chigozie Obioma on the Booker Prize 2019 shortlist.

Bernardine Evaristo and Chigozie Obioma are on the Booker Prize 2019 shortlist announced today, September 3, 2019.

The Booker Prize for Fiction is a literary prize awarded each year for the best original novel written in English and published in the United Kingdom. The prize, first awarded in 1969, has been won by three Africans, Nadine Gordimer (1974), Ben Okri (1991), and J. M. Coetzee (1999). Those who have been shortlisted are Marie NDiaye (2013), Noviolet Bulawayo (2013), and Chigozie Obioma (2016).

The 2019 longlist was announced on July 23 from 151 novels published in the UK or Ireland between October 1, 2018, and September 30, 2019. The shortlist announced today has the following titles:

  • Margaret Atwood (Canada), The Testaments (Vintage, Chatto & Windus)
  • Lucy Ellmann (USA/UK), Ducks, Newburyport (Galley Beggar Press)
  • Bernardine Evaristo (UK), Girl, Woman, Other (Hamish Hamilton)
  • Chigozie Obioma (Nigeria), An Orchestra of Minorities (Little Brown)
  • Salman Rushdie (UK/India), Quichotte (Jonathan Cape)
  • Elif Shafak (UK/Turkey), 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World (Viking)

Speaking of the shortlist the judges said;

“They range these books, the shortlist, across acres of time and space and geographical location, and culture, and civilisation and they are like a complete compendium of wonders of the world”– Peter Florence, Chair of the judging panel, Hay Festival founder and director.

“So the six books to go forward now, it was tough, it was a very hard choice for us to make” – Joanna MacGregor, Concert pianist, conductor, and composer.

“I think it’s amazing how these six books suggest we come from such a different world and they made our own voice heard whether you come from a minority or a majority” – Xiaolu Guo, novelist, essayist and filmmaker.

“I’m still in awe of the range of stories, the voices that they bring and the worlds that they open up. It’s an incredibly eclectic group” – Afua Hirsch, writer, broadcaster and former barrister.

“It’s going to be difficult choosing the winner out of six such brilliant, such different, and such memorable books” – Liz Calder, former fiction publisher, and editor.

Each of these shortlisted authors receives £2,500 and a specially bound edition of their book. The 2019 winner will be announced on Monday 14 October at an awards ceremony at London, UK. They will receive a £50,000 prize as well as global recognition.

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