Home/The Booker Prize 2020

Regarded as one of the world’s most prestigious literary awards, the Booker Prize recognises the best novel written in English and published in the UK and Ireland. This year’s longlist of 13 books was selected by a panel of five judges, chosen from 162 submitted novels published in the UK or Ireland between 1 October 2019 and 30 September 2020. The Booker Prize for Fiction is open to writers of any nationality, writing in English and published in the UK or Ireland.

The shortlist of six books will be announced on Tuesday 15th September. The 2020 winner will be announced in November. The winner of the 2020 Booker Prize receives £50,000 and can expect international recognition. The shortlisted authors each receive £2,500 and a specially bound edition of their book.

  • WHAT MAKES A HOME A HOME? TELL ME A STORY I CAN DREAM ON . . . Ba dies in the night, Ma is already gone. Lucy and Sam, twelve and eleven, are suddenly alone and on the run. With their father's body on their backs, they roam an unforgiving landscape dotted with giant buffalo bones and tiger paw prints, searching for a place to give him a proper burial. Once Lucy and Sam have made it out of the wild, they are changed forever. Sam chooses to live in their father's shadow, while Luck breaks free. Taking their own paths in the American West, in the twilight of the Gold Rush, encountering a cast of menacing characters: a fur trapper in exile, a charismatic brothel owner and a debutante from the upper echelons of society, each either sidesteps or falls victim to the new gods of greed, wealth and opportunism. Eventually, the siblings pull apart and come together for a final reckoning. How Much of These Hills Is Gold is a sweeping adventure tale, an unforgettable sibling story and a remarkable novel about family, bound and divided by its memories. 'A truly gifted writer' Sebastian Barry. 'Pure gold' Emma Donoghue. Longlisted for The Man Booker Prize 2020. ISBN 9780349011479
  • Rachel and Eliza are planning their future together. One night in bed Rachel wakes up terrified and tells Eliza that an ant has crawled into her eye and is stuck there. Rachel is certain; Eliza, a scientist, is sceptical. Suddenly their entire relationship is called into question. What follows is a uniquely imaginitive sequence of interlinked stories ranging across time, place and perspective to form a sparkling philosophical tale of love, lost and found across the universe. 'Sophie Ward is a dazzling talent who writes like a modern-day F Scott Fitzgerald' Elizabeth Day. 'A towering literary achievement' Ruth Hogan. Longlisted for The Man Booker Prize 2020. ISBN 9781472154606
  • It is 1981. Glasgow is dying and good families must grift to survive. Agnes Bain has always expected more from life. She dreams of greater things: a house with its own front door and a life bought and paid for outright (like her perfect, but false, teeth). But Agnes is abandoned by her philandering husband, and soon she and her three children find themselves trapped in a decimated mining town. As she descends deeper into drink, the children try their best to save her, yet one by one they must abandon her to save themselves. It is her son Shuggie who holds out hope the longest. Shuggie is different. Fastidious and fussy, he shares his mother's sense of snobbish propriety. The miners' children pick on him and adults condemn him as no' right. But Shuggie believes that if he tries his hardest, he can be normal like the other boys and help his mother escape this hopeless place. Douglas Stuart's Shuggie Bain lays bare the ruthlessness of poverty, the limits of love, and the hollowness of pride. A counterpart to the privileged Thatcher-era London of Alan Hollinghurst's The Line of Beauty, it also recalls the work of Edouard Louis, Frank McCourt, and Hanya Yanagihara, a blistering debut by a brilliant writer with a powerful and important story to tell. 'Douglas Stuart is fierce and loving and lovely. He shows us lots of monstrous behavior, but not a single monster... His book leaves us gutted and marveling' - New York Times Longlisted for The Man Booker Prize 2020. ISBN 9781529019285
  • Wallace has spent his summer in the lab breeding a strain of microscopic worms. He is four years into a biochemistry degree at a lakeside Midwestern university, a life that’s a world away from his childhood in Alabama. His father died a few weeks ago, but Wallace didn’t go back for the funeral, and he hasn’t told his friends – Miller, Yngve, Cole and Emma. For reasons of self-preservation, he has become used to keeping a wary distance even from those closest to him. But, over the course of one blustery end-of-summer weekend, the destruction of his work and a series of intense confrontations force Wallace to grapple with both the trauma of the past, and the question of the future. ‘Real Life is a tender, deeply-felt, perfectly-paced novel about solitude and society, sexuality and race. It explores what the past means and, with brilliance and sympathy, dramatizes the intricacies of love and grief.’ – Colm Tóibín Longlisted for The Man Booker Prize 2020. ISBN 9781911547747
  • Ethiopia, 1935. With the threat of Mussolini's army looming, recently orphaned Hirut struggles to adapt to her new life as a maid. Her new employer, Kidane, an officer in Emperor Haile Selassie's army, rushes to mobilise his strongest men before the Italians invade. Hirut and the other women long to do more than care for the wounded and bury the dead. When the Emperor goes into exile and Ethiopia quickly loses hope, it is Hirut who offers a plan to maintain morale. But how could she have predicted her own personal war is still to come, as a prisoner of one of Italy's most vicious officers? Longlisted for The Man Booker Prize 2020. Published 3rd September 2020 - Pre-order Now. ISBN 9781838851170
  • "This life is like being in an ocean. Some people keep swimming towards the bottom. Some people touch the bottom with one foot, or even both, and then push themselves off it to get back up to the top, where you can breathe. Others get to the bottom and decide they want to stay there. I don't want to get to the bottom because I'm already drowning." This is a story of a London you won't find in any guidebooks.This is a story about what it's like to exist in the moment, about boys too eager to become men, growing up in the hidden war zones of big cities - and the girls trying to make it their own way. This is a story of reputations made and lost, of violence and vengeance - and never counting the cost.This is a story of concrete towers and blank eyed windows, of endless nights in police stations and prison cells, of brotherhood and betrayal.This is about the boredom, the rush, the despair, the fear and the hope. This is about what's left behind. Longlisted for The Man Booker Prize 2020. Published 3rd September 2020 - Pre-order Now. ISBN 9780008375003
  • In her youth, Tara was wild. She abandoned her loveless marriage to join an ashram, endured a brief stint as a beggar (mostly to spite her affluent parents), and spent years chasing after a dishevelled, homeless 'artist' - all with her young child in tow. Now she is forgetting things, mixing up her maid's wages and leaving the gas on all night, and her grown-up daughter is faced with the task of caring for a woman who never cared for her. This is a love story and a story about betrayal. But not between lovers - between mother and daughter. Sharp as a blade and laced with caustic wit, Burnt Sugar unpicks the slippery cords of memory and myth that bind two women together, and hold them apart. 'Daring and deliciously dark, Burnt Sugar will keep you gripped until the very last sentence' Zeba Talkhani, author of My Past is a Foreign Country. 'Raw, wise and cuttingly funny on love and cruelty, marriage and motherhood, art and illness, and one woman's fight for her sense of self' Rowan Hisayo Buchanan, author of Starling Days. Longlisted for The Booker Prize 2020. ISBN 9780241441510
  • 'As natural as the grass grows.' Chinua Achebe'[Dangarembga] is a wonderful creator of character.' Doris Lessing'[A] Masterpiece.' New York Times'Searing and enlightening.' Sefi Atta, author of Everything Good Will Come. In this tense and psychologically charged novel, Tsitsi Dangarembga channels the hope and potential of one young girl and a fledgling nation to lead us on a journey to discover where lives go after hope has departed. Here we meet Tambudzai, living in a run-down youth hostel in downtown Harare and anxious about her prospects after leaving a stagnant job. At every turn in her attempt to make a life for herself, she is faced with a fresh humiliation, until the painful contrast between the future she imagined and her daily reality ultimately drives her to a breaking point. Longlisted for The Booker Prize 2020. ISBN 9780571355525
  • Bea knows she cannot stay in the City, but there is only one alternative: The Wilderness State. Mankind has never been allowed to venture into this vast expanse of untamed land. Until now. Bea and Agnes join eighteen other volunteers who agree to take part in a radical experiment. They must slowly learn how to live in the unpredictable, often dangerous Wilderness, leaving no trace on their surroundings in their quest to survive. But as Agnes embraces this new existence, Bea realises that saving her daughter's life might mean losing her in ways she hadn't foreseen. At once a blazing lament of our contempt for nature and a deeply humane portrayal of motherhood, The New Wilderness is an extraordinary, urgent novel from a celebrated new literary voice. Longlisted for The Man Booker Prize 2020. ISBN 9780861540372
  • The novel of a lifetime about two men and their daughters: divided by conflict, yet united in grief. Rami Elhanan and Bassam Aramin live near one another - yet they exist worlds apart. Rami is Israeli. Bassam is Palestinian. Rami's license plate is yellow. Bassam's license plate is green. It takes Rami fifteen minutes to drive to the West Bank. The same journey for Bassam takes an hour and a half. Both men have lost their daughters. Rami's thirteen-year-old girl Smadar was killed by a suicide bomber while out shopping with her friends. Bassam's ten-year-old daughter Abir was shot and killed by a member of the border police outside her school. There was a candy bracelet in her pocket she hadn't had time to eat yet. The men become the best of friends. In this epic novel - named for a shape with a countably infinite number of sides - Colum McCann crosses centuries and continents, stitching time, art, history, nature and politics into a tapestry of friendship, love, loss and belonging. Musical, muscular, delicate and soaring, Apeirogon is the novel for our times. 'A quite extraordinary novel. Colum McCann has found the form and voice to tell the most complex of stories, with an unexpected friendship between two men at its powerfully beating heart' KAMILA SHAMSIE ISBN 9781526607911
  • When Emira is apprehended at a supermarket for kidnapping the white child she's actually babysitting, it sets off an explosive chain of events. Her employer Alix, a feminist blogger with the best of intentions, resolves to make things right. But Emira herself is aimless, broke and wary of Alix's desire to help. When a surprising connection emerges between the two women, it sends them on a crash course that will upend everything they think they know about themselves, each other, and the messy dynamics of privilege. 'A gripping page-turner' Madeline Miller - 'A beautiful tale of how we live now' Elizabeth Day - 'Charming, authentic and every bit as entertaining as it is calmly, intelligently damning' Observer. *HARDBACK EDITION* ISBN 9780007480999
  • From the bestselling author of A Spool of Blue Thread: an offbeat love story about mis-steps, second chances and the elusive art of human connection Micah Mortimer isn't the most polished person you'll ever meet. His numerous sisters and in-laws regard him oddly but very fondly, but he has his ways and means of navigating the world. He measures out his days running errands for work - his TECH HERMIT sign cheerily displayed on the roof of his car - maintaining an impeccable cleaning regime and going for runs (7:15, every morning). He is content with the steady balance of his life. But then the order of things starts to tilt. His woman friend Cassia (he refuses to call anyone in her late thirties a 'girlfriend') tells him she's facing eviction because of a cat. And when a teenager shows up at Micah's door claiming to be his son, Micah is confronted with another surprise he seems poorly equipped to handle. Redhead by the Side of the Road is an intimate look into the heart and mind of a man who sometimes finds those around him just out of reach - and a love story about the differences that make us all unique. Publication date: 9th April 2020 ISBN 9781784743482
  • When Emira is apprehended at a supermarket for kidnapping the white child she's actually babysitting, it sets off an explosive chain of events. Her employer Alix, a feminist blogger with the best of intentions, resolves to make things right. But Emira herself is aimless, broke and wary of Alix's desire to help. When a surprising connection emerges between the two women, it sends them on a crash course that will upend everything they think they know about themselves, each other, and the messy dynamics of privilege. 'A gripping page-turner' Madeline Miller - 'A beautiful tale of how we live now' Elizabeth Day - 'Charming, authentic and every bit as entertaining as it is calmly, intelligently damning' Observer. ISBN 9780718179755
  • When Emira is apprehended at a supermarket for kidnapping the white child she's actually babysitting, it sets off an explosive chain of events. Her employer Alix, a feminist blogger with the best of intentions, resolves to make things right. But Emira herself is aimless, broke and wary of Alix's desire to help. When a surprising connection emerges between the two women, it sends them on a crash course that will upend everything they think they know about themselves, each other, and the messy dynamics of privilege. 'A gripping page-turner' Madeline Miller - 'A beautiful tale of how we live now' Elizabeth Day - 'Charming, authentic and every bit as entertaining as it is calmly, intelligently damning' Observer. ISBN 9781526612151
  • SIGNED 1ST EDITION HARDBACK A New Signed 1st Edition 1st Printing Hardback with 1 included on the title page number line - signed by the author on publication in February 2020. AVAILABLE FROM 25TH FEBRUARY 2020 - PREORDER NOW. The novel of a lifetime about two men and their daughters: divided by conflict, yet united in grief. Rami Elhanan and Bassam Aramin live near one another - yet they exist worlds apart. Rami is Israeli. Bassam is Palestinian. Rami's license plate is yellow. Bassam's license plate is green. It takes Rami fifteen minutes to drive to the West Bank. The same journey for Bassam takes an hour and a half. Both men have lost their daughters. Rami's thirteen-year-old girl Smadar was killed by a suicide bomber while out shopping with her friends. Bassam's ten-year-old daughter Abir was shot and killed by a member of the border police outside her school. There was a candy bracelet in her pocket she hadn't had time to eat yet. The men become the best of friends. In this epic novel - named for a shape with a countably infinite number of sides - Colum McCann crosses centuries and continents, stitching time, art, history, nature and politics into a tapestry of friendship, love, loss and belonging. Musical, muscular, delicate and soaring, Apeirogon is the novel for our times. 'A quite extraordinary novel. Colum McCann has found the form and voice to tell the most complex of stories, with an unexpected friendship between two men at its powerfully beating heart' KAMILA SHAMSIE ISBN 9781526607904
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