Noviolet Bulawayo, Percival Everett on Booker Prize for Fiction 2022 longlist

Noviolet Bulawayo, Leila Mottley, and Percival Everett are on the longlist for The Booker Prize for Fiction 2022 announced today, July 26, 2022.

The Booker Prize for Fiction, worth £50,000, is a literary prize awarded annually for the best original novel written in the English language and published in the United Kingdom. Since it started in 1969, it has been won by four writers of African descent, Nadine Gordimer (1974), Ben Okri (1991), J. M. Coetzee (1999), Bernardine Evaristo (2019), and Damon Galgut (2021). Some of those who have been shortlisted are Chinua Achebe (1987), Abdulrazak Gumah (1994), Ahdaf Soueif (1999), Achmat Dangor (2004), Marie NDiaye (2013), Chigozie Obioma (2015 and 2019) as well as Tsitsi Dangarembga, Maaza Mengiste, and Brandon Taylor (2020).

The jury for 2022 is chaired by cultural historian, writer, and broadcaster Neil MacGregor alongside academic and broadcaster Shahidha Bari; historian Helen Castor; novelist and critic M. John Harrison; and novelist, poet, and professor Alain Mabanckou.

Today the longlist for one of the most important prizes for writing in English has been announced and the following writers of African descent have made the cut;

  • Glory, NoViolet Bulawayo – NoViolet Bulawayo’s debut novel, We Need New Names, was shortlisted for the 2013 Man Booker Prize.
  • Nightcrawling, Leila Mottley – Leila Mottley was born in 2003 in Oakland, California, where she still lives and works.
  • The Trees, Percival Everett – Percival Everett is the author of over 30 books since his debut, Suder, was released in 1983.

Neil MacGregor, chair of the Booker Prize 2022 judges said: ‘Over the last seven months or so, we have read and discussed 169 works of fiction, all written in English, by authors and about subjects from all over the globe. 169 journeys to worlds conjured and created by the wielding of words alone. The skill with which writers shape and sustain those variously imagined worlds, and allow others to inhabit them, has been our main criterion in proposing this longlist of 13 books. Exceptionally well written and carefully crafted, in whatever genre, they seem to us to exploit and expand what the language can do.  The list that we have selected offers story, fable and parable, fantasy, mystery, meditation, and thriller.