The Booker Prize longlist 2020 has been revealed – these are the books that should be on your summer reading list

Which will you read?
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  • The Booker Prize shortlist is the most-anticipated literary shortlist of the year. And now we have an inkling of just who will be this year’s frontrunners, now that the Booker Prize longlist has been announced.

    For many of us, reading has been one of the things getting us through the trauma and anxiety of the coronavirus pandemic. Cuddling up in some loungewear, sitting back and diving into a good book is an excellent way to take your mind off things, and let’s face it – we’ve needed that more than ever over the last few months. So books fans will likely be delighted by the news that the Booker Prize, formerly known as the Man Booker Prize, longlist has been unveiled, with a 13 fabulous must-reads having made the cut.

    The Booker Prize 2020: who is on the longlist?

    Interestingly, it’s thought that this year’s longlist includes more debut novels than ever before, with eight of the listed authors being debut novelists. And even more brilliantly – nine of the listed 13 authors are women.

    Speaking about the selections made by a panel of five authors, translators and broadcasters, chair of the Booker Prize, Margaret Busby, also an author, said, “Each of these books carries an impact that has earned it a place on the longlist, deserving of wide readership.

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    “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 an individual faces in pre- and post-dystopian society. “

    Which authors are the current frontrunners for the Booker Prize 2020?

    The longlist for the Booker Prize includes some brilliant books – including Maaza Mengiste’s The Shadow King, which shines a light on the female soldiers of Ethiopia, who went to war during Italy’s 1935 invasion. It also features The New Wilderness, written by Diane Cook – which depicts a dystopian future in which Bea’s five-year-old daughter, Agnes, is slowly wasting away, as a result of the smog and pollution in the overdeveloped city they call home.

    Or will it be Hilary Mantel, the long-listed author who has already won twice? Acclaimed author Hilary Mantel has earned a spot on the Man Booker list, with her novel The Mirror & The Light, the third book in her Cromwell trilogy. Hilary has won the prize twice before – in 2009 for her hugely popular Wolf Hall, and again in 2012 for Bring Up The Bodies.

    In fact, she explained to The Guardian that she is looking to turn one story from her collection of short stories, The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher, into a stage production – although admits that a fair bit of offence may be taken to the idea – she joked, “It will be offensive on a scale like they’ve never seen.”

    When will the Booker Prize shortlist 2020 be announced?

    The longlist Booker Prize selection will be narrowed down to shortlist of six books in September, before the prize is awarded in November. The winner of the Booker Prize in 2020 will receive a £50,000 prize, and of course, all the prestige that comes along with it. The six shortlisted authors will each receive £2,500, and a specially bound edition of their book.

    The full Booker Prize 2020 longlist