Hilary Mantel up for record-breaking third Booker Prize as 2020 longlist announced
The longlist for the 2020 Booker Prize was announced on Monday, and among the 13 novels included in "The Booker Dozen" is Hilary Mantel's The Mirror and the Light, the third book in her Thomas Cromwell trilogy. If Mantel wins, it would make her the first person to ever win the Booker Prize — one of the most prestigious awards for English-language books — three times. As of now, she is one of only four authors to win twice, including Margaret Atwood, Peter Carey, and J.M. Coetzee.
Selected by a panel of five judges — Margaret Busby, Lee Child, Sameer Rahim, Lemn Sissay, and Emily Wilson — the longlist was chosen from 162 novels published in the U.K. or Ireland between October 2019 and September 2020. The 13 titles will be narrowed down to a shortlist of six in September, before the winner is announced in November, taking home the £50,000 ($63,000) prize money.
The 2020 longlist includes several debut authors of color, a surprise move for the award. "When the judges had drawn up their longlist of 13 books, one of them said: 'Out of interest, how many debuts are there?' We counted. It was more than half the list," Gaby Wood, Literary Director of the Booker Prize Foundation, says in a statement. "That’s an unusually high proportion, and especially surprising to the judges themselves, who had admired many books by more established authors, and regretted having to let them go. It is perhaps obvious that powerful stories can come from unexpected places and in unfamiliar forms; nevertheless, this kaleidoscopic list serves as a reminder."
Check out the full 2020 Booker Prize longlist below:
Diane Cook, The New Wilderness
Tsitsi Dangarembga, This Mournable Body
Avni Doshi, Burnt Sugar
Gabriel Krauze, Who They Was
Hilary Mantel, The Mirror and 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
Last year's Booker Prize made history as two winners shared the award: Atwood, for The Testaments, and Bernardine Evaristo, for Girl, Woman, Other. While two winners have shared the prize previously, this was the first time it occurred since the rules were changed in 1993 to explicitly state that only one author could win. Evaristo was the first Black woman to win while Atwood, 79, was the oldest-ever winner of the prize (it also marked Atwood’s second win; her first was in 2000, for The Blind Assassin).