The 2021 Booker Prize Longlist has been announced! Chosen from 158 novels, this year’s longlist is comprised of 13 novels that span the globe from South Africa to Sri Lanka, with notable authors like Kazuo Ishiguro and Rachel Cusk, among others. First awarded in 1969, the Booker Prize is open to writers of any nationality writing in English and published in the UK or Ireland. The winner of the prize will receive £50,000 and each shortlisted author will receive £2,500. The shortlist will be announced September 14th and the winner will be announced November 3rd.
Chair of the judges, Maya Jasanoff, writes of this year’s longlist, “One thing that unites these books is their power to absorb the reader in an unusual story, and to do so in an artful, distinctive voice. Many of them consider how people grapple with the past—whether personal experiences of grief or dislocation or the historical legacies of enslavement, apartheid, and civil war. Many examine intimate relationships placed under stress, and through them meditate on ideas of freedom and obligation, or on what makes us human.
It’s particularly resonant during the pandemic to note that all of these books have important things to say about the nature of community, from the tiny and secluded to the unmeasurable expanse of cyberspace. Reading in lockdown fostered a powerful sense of connection with the books.”
2021 Booker Prize Longlist
A Passage North by Anuk Arudpragasam
Second Place by Rachel Cusk
The Promise by Damon Galgut
The Sweetness of Water by Nathan Harris
Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro
An Island by Karen Jennings
A Town Called Solace by Mary Lawson
No One is Talking About This by Patricia Lockwood
The Fortune Men by Nadifa Mohamed
Bewilderment by Richard Powers
China Room by Sunjeev Sahota
Great Circle by Maggie Shipstead
Light Perpetual by Francis Spufford
The panel of judges for this year’s award include historian Maya Jasanoff (Chair), writer and editor Horatia Harrod, actor Natascha McElhone, twice Booker-shortlisted novelist and professor Chigozie Obioma, and writer and former Archbishop Rowan Williams.
Check out more of Book Riot’s coverage of the Booker Prize.