Find Your Next Fiction Read: Dig Into the Booker Prize Longlist

The Booker Prize for Fiction is open to works by writers of any nationality, written in English and published in the UK or Ireland. The longlist for the 2021 Booker Prize was  announced Tuesday 27 July 2021.  The 13 novels on the list were chosen from 158 novels published between 1 October 2020 and 30 September 2021.

Maya Jasanoff, chair of the 2021 judges, says:

‘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——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, and of shared enterprise among the judges.”

The shortlist will be announced on September 14 and the winner revealed on November 3.  In the meantime try exploring a title or two below from the longlist titles available with your library card.   You are sure to find something absorbing, distinctive and appealing to your taste.

China Room by Sunjeev Sahota

In 1929 rural Punjab, Mehar and her new sisters-in-law are locked at work in the family’s “china room,” while trying to figure out which of three brothers is her new husband, setting off events that impact a descendent in 1999.

Great Circle by Maggie Shipstead

A century after daredevil female aviator Marian Graves’s disappearance in Antarctica, actress Hadley Baxter is cast to play her and immerses herself in the role as their fates—and their dreams—become intertwined.

Klara And The Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro

Waiting to be chosen by a customer, an Artificial Friend programmed with high perception observes the activities of shoppers while exploring fundamental questions about what it means to love.

Light Perpetual: A Novel by Francis Spufford

A novel set in 1944 London imagines the lives of five children who perished during a bombing at a local store, tracing their everyday dramas as they live through the extraordinary, unimaginable changes of twentieth-century London.

No One Is Talking About This : A Novel by Patricia Lockwood

Elevated to prominence for her social-media posts, a woman begins suffering from existential anxieties while learning the languages, customs and fears of her fans throughout the world, before an urgent text from home transforms her virtual perspectives.

A Passage North : A Novel by Anuk Arudpragasam.

After learning of his grandmother’s caretaker’s supposedly accidental death after falling down a well, Krishan makes the journey from Columbo into the war-torn Northern Province for the funeral in this fictional account of Sri Lanka’s 30-year civil war.

The Promise by Damon Galgut

Haunted by an unmet promise, the Swart family loses touch after the death of their matriarch. Adrift, the lives of the three siblings move separately through the uncharted waters of South Africa; Anton, the golden boy who bitterly resents his life’s unfulfilled promises; Astrid, whose beauty is her power; and the youngest, Amor, whose life is shaped by a nebulous feeling of guilt. Reunited by four funerals over three decades, the dwindling family reflects the atmosphere of its country – an atmosphere of resentment, renewal, and – ultimately – hope. 

Second Place by Rachel Cusk

A woman invites a famous artist to use her guest house in the remote coastal landscape where she lives with her family. Powerfully drawn to his paintings, she believes his vision might penetrate the mystery at the center of her life. But as a long, dry summer sets in, his provocative presence itself becomes an enigma–and disrupts the calm of her secluded household.

The Sweetness of Water by Nathan Harris

In the waning days of the Civil War, brothers Prentiss and Landry, freed by the Emancipation Proclamation, seek refuge on the homestead of George Walker and his wife, Isabelle. The Walkers, wracked by the loss of their only son, hire the brothers, hoping to stanch their grief. Prentiss and Landry, meanwhile, plan to save money for the journey north and a chance to reunite with their mother, who was sold away when they were boys. Parallel to their story runs a forbidden romance between two Confederate soldiers recently returned from the war to the town of Old Ox. But when their secret is discovered, the resulting chaos, including a murder, unleashes convulsive repercussions on the entire community. 

Books on the longlist which are not yet in the Livingston Library or BCCLS collection:

  • An Island by Karen Jennings
  • The Fortune Men by Nadifa Mohamed
  • Bewilderment by Richard Powers
  • Town Called Solace by Mary Lawson

-Archana, Adult Services & Acquisitions Librarian

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