July 29, 2021 · 6:14 pm
A Passage North by Anuk Arudpragasam
Second Place by Rachel Cusk
The Promise by Damon Galgut
The Sweetness of Water by Nathan Harris
Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro
An Island by Karen Jennings
A Town Called Solace by Mary Lawson
No One is Talking About This by Patricia Lockwood
The Fortune Men by Nadifa Mohamed
Bewilderment by Richard Powers
China Room by Sunjeev Sahota
Great Circle by Maggie Shipstead
Light Perpetual by Francis Spufford
In my predictions post last Sunday, I correctly guessed five out of 13 which is pretty respectable, including three literary heavyweights who have previously won or been nominated for the Prize (Ishiguro, Cusk and Galgut) as well as Patricia Lockwood and Maggie Shipstead. This year’s longlist definitely leans more towards established authors, with just two debuts making the cut. They are ‘The Sweetness of Water’ by Nathan Harris which is set in the American South just after the end of the Civil War, and ‘No One Is Talking About This’ by Patricia Lockwood.
I have already read Light Perpetual by Francis Spufford, although I was not fully convinced by the way in which the alternative history concept was executed. I am particularly looking forward to reading the latest novels by Ishiguro and Shipstead and I also have a review copy of ‘China Room’ by Sunjeev Sahota, who was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and the Young Writer of the Year Award in 2015 for his second novel The Year of the Runaways.
The shortlist will be announced on Tuesday 14 September. What are your thoughts on this year’s longlist?