The shortlist for the 2019 Booker Prize was recently announced, with the field of six novels featuring two well-established voices — Salman Rushdie and Margaret Atwood — alongside four names with which you may not be acquainted.
The shortlist is as follows:
Margaret Atwood, The Testaments
Lucy Ellmann, Ducks, Newburyport
Bernardine Evaristo, Girl, Woman, Other
Chigozie Obioma, An Orchestra of Minorities
Salman Rushdie, Quichotte
Elif Shafak, 10 Minutes 38 Seconds In This Strange World
According to the Booker website, ‘The stories themselves encompass a modern reworking of Don Quixote set in America and Britain and taking in opioids and meta fiction by Rushdie; a sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale from Atwood (still, frustratingly an unknown quantity of a book since it is not published until 10th September and remains wrapped in cloak-and-dagger secrecy); a story of a life after death in Istanbul, narrated by a murdered woman as her life force ebbs, from Shafak; the intersecting stories of 12 black women whose lives touch in 20th and 21st century Britain from Evaristo; a star-crossed love story set in Nigeria and Cyprus from Obioma – who also becomes a two-time shortlistee; and a thousand-page, one sentence freewheeling epic about information and ecology from Ellmann.’
In determining the final Booker recipient, the judges will now need to subject each book to a second re-read (a re-re-read). Yes, that does mean reading Ducks, Newburyport again.
We at Oscar and Friends will do our best to ensure that all shortlisted titles are in stock as we await the final announcement on October 14!