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Margaret Atwood, Salman Rushdie And Other Literary Heavyweights in Race for Booker Prize 2019

From 151 novels, the longlist of 13 nominees was selected by five judges. The shortlist for Booker will be announced on 3 September 2019 and the final winner will be declared on 14 October.

News18.com

Updated:July 24, 2019, 1:04 PM IST
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Margaret Atwood, Salman Rushdie And Other Literary Heavyweights in Race for Booker Prize 2019
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Canadian author, Margaret Atwood, scored a Booker nomination for the sixth time with her much-awaited and 'yet to be published' sequel of Handmaid's Tale -The Testaments. The Testaments, which will release in September this year, follows the journey of three women of Gilead and picks up 15 years after the end of Handmaid's Tale story line. The last time Atwood was nominated for a Booker was in 2000 when she took home the prize for her brilliantly written novel, The Blind Assasin.

The 2019 Booker Longlist that was announced today is full of big familiar names from the international literary circuit like Salman Rushdie and Jeanette Winterson. The list features 13 nominees, out of which eight are women writers. While there had been issues in the past, especially after 2013, when US fiction was also included for consideration of Booker Award, only one American author, Lucy Ellman was found in this year's list. Ellman's novel Ducks, Newburyport has a unique style structure as the 1,000-page novel has been written almost entirely in a single sentence.

Rushdie -- who, about 40 years ago, took home the Booker Award for Midnight's Children - has been nominated this year for Quichotte, a novel inspired by Don Quixote. Quichotte too, much like The Testaments, will be published in September, and therefore, no reviews of the book are available as of yet. But, the book has been described as "a tour de force that is as much an homage to an immortal work of literature as it is to the quest for love and family." Rushdie has not only won a Booker before but also bagged the Best of the Booker award.

Jeanette Winterson's novel Frankissstein is a tribute of Mary Shelly's classic, Frankenstein. It is a book about a transgender doctor, Ry, who falls in love with a famous professor, Victor Stein, who is driving public debates on AI. The book pushes you to see that the future is not too far, but is already here, and also makes you think about the 'bodies we live in and the bodies we desire'.

Other books to feature on the Booker longlist are Night Boat to Tangier by Kevin Barry (Ireland), My Sister, The Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite (UK/Nigeria), Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo (UK), The Wall by John Lanchester (UK), The Man Who Saw Everything by Deborah Levy (UK), Lost Children Archive by Valeria Luiselli (Mexico/Italy), An Orchestra of Minorities by Chigozie Obioma (Nigeria), Lanny by Max Porter (UK) and 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World by Elif Shafak (UK/Turkey).

From 151 novels, the longlist of 13 nominees was selected by five judges, Peter Florence, the founder and director of Hay Festival, Liz Calder, Former fiction publisher and editor, Xiaolu Guo, a filmmaker and essayist, Afua Hirsch, a former barrister and a broadcaster, and Joanna MacGregor, Pianist and composer.

Talking about the shortlist, Peter Florence said, "If you only read one book this year, make a leap. Read all 13 of these. There are Nobel candidates and debutants on this list. There are no favourites; they are all credible winners. They imagine our world, familiar from news cycle disaster and grievance, with wild humour, deep insight and a keen humanity. These writers offer joy and hope. They celebrate the rich complexity of English as a global language. They are exacting, enlightening and entertaining. Really – read all of them.”

The shortlist for Booker will be announced on 3 September 2019 and the final winner will be declared on 14 October.

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