Books

The 2020 Booker Prize Longlist Includes 8 Debut Novels

And celebrates diverse female writing, too.

The Booker Prizes

It's that time of year again — the Booker Prize for Fiction 2020 longlist has been announced, and this diverse list of authors will be the perfect addition to your reading list. Featuring eight debut novels and compiled from 162 English-language novels published in the UK and Ireland, there are plenty of stories to dive into this summer.

Chaired by editor, literary critic, and former publisher Margaret Busby, the judging panel also includes author Lee Child; author and critic Sameer Rahim; writer and broadcaster Lemn Sissay; and classicist and translator Emily Wilson.

Baroness Nicholson was previously honorary Vice President of the panel but was removed in June following a series of transphobic tweets. Many writers criticised her comments as a "very public and powerful homophobia," and Munroe Bergdorf has also been asking for support to have Nicholson investigated by the House of Lords Official Commissioner for Standards.

The longlist, which will be cut down to a shortlist of six on Sep. 15, includes author Hilary Mantel who has previously won the prize twice, Zimbabwean writer Tsitsi Dangarembga, Gabriel Krauze, Diane Cooke, and Sophie Ward. The winner, who will also receive £50,000, will be announced in November.

"Included are novels carried by the sweep of history with memorable characters brought to life and given visibility, novels that represent a moment of cultural change, or the pressures and individual face in pre- and post-dystopian society," Bushby said in a statement.

"Some of the books on interpersonal relationships that are complex, nuanced, emotionally charged," she continued. "There are voices from minorities often unheard, stories that are fresh, bold and absorbing."

Read the list in full below:

1
1. The New Wilderness by Dianne Cooke
Oneworld

A debut novel about a polluted metropolis released on Aug. 13.

Buy here.

2
2. This Mournable Boy by Tsitsi Dangarembga
Blackwell's

The third novel of the 'Nervous Conditions' trilogy.

Buy here.

3
3. Burnt Sugar by Avni Doshi
Amazon

A story about love and betrayal released on July 30.

Buy here.

4
Who They Was by Gabriel Krauze
Amazon

A debut novel about London's youth released on Sep. 3.

Buy here.

5
The Mirror & The Light by Hilary Mantel
Blackwell's

The third book of 'The Wolf Hall' trilogy.

Buy here.

6
Apeirogon by Colum McCann
Bloomsbury

A story about an unexpected friendship.

Buy here.

7
The Shadow King by Maaza Mengiste
Amazon

A novel set in 1935 Ethiopia following a woman at war.

Buy here.

8
Such A Fun Age by Kiley Reid
Amazon

A novel about the dynamics of privilege in race and class.

Buy here.

9
Real Life by Brandon Taylor
Amazon

A debut novel following a student studying biochemistry released on Aug. 27. Buy here.

10
Redhead by the Side of the Road by Anne Taylor
Stanford's

A story about second chances and human connection.

Buy here.

11
Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart
Blackwell's

A novel set in 1981 Glasgow released on Aug. 6.

Buy here.

12
Love and Other Thought Experiments by Sophie Ward
The Telegraph

A novel about the intricacies of love.

Buy here.

13
How Much of These Hills is Gold by C Pam Zhang

A debut novel set in the American West of the 19th-century.

Buy here.

The Booker shortlist – featuring just six of these titles – will be announced on Sept. 15.