I am excited about the Booker Prize. From the ’80s through the zips, I have read most of the winners. In 2011 I fell behind, due to a disappointing longlist. But I usually read one from the longlist or the shortlist, even if I don’t get around to the winner.
Last year I got back on track: I read one book from the longlist, Jeanette Winterson’s Frankissstein, one from the shortlist, Lucy Ellman’s Ducks, Newburyport, and one of the two (tied) winners, Margaret Atwood’s Testaments. And I enjoyed all three. So it was a good year. (I still need to read the longlisted Salman Rushdie and John Lanchester.)
Anyway, I am so happy that the Booker Prize 2020 announcement has not been delayed by the coronavirus. For some reason, other awards seem to be on hold this year. The Booker International winner has not yet been announced! Let’s get back to normalcy, even if the ceremony is virtual.
Anne Tyler’s Redhead by the Side of the Road is on the longlist, and I would be happy if she won it. She has had a stunning career. There are many, many reviews of Redhead online, and though I didn’t get around to reviewing it, it is one of my favorites.
I don’t consider myself a Booker judge, but here are two novels I think are award-worthy: Anne Enright’s Actress (which I wrote about here) and Martha McPhee’s An Elegant Woman (which I wrote about here). Perhaps McPhee’s book would be dismissed as a women’s saga, even though it is so much more than that. You know how these things work.
Here is the Booker longlist.
Diane Cook – The New Wilderness
Tsitsi Dangarembga – This Mournable Body
Avni Doshi – Burnt Suga
Gabriel Krauze – Who They Was
Hilary Mantel – The Mirror & The Light
Colum McCann – Apeirogon
Maaza Mengiste – The Shadow King
Kiley Reid – Such a Fun Age
Brandon Taylor – Real Life
Anne Tyler – Redhead by The Side of The Road
Douglas Stuart – Shuggie Bain
Sophie Ward – Love and Other Thought Experiments
C Pam Zhang – How Much of These Hills is Gold
What books would you have added to this list?