Margaret Atwood and Salman Rushdie – both former winners of the coveted Booker Prize – find themselves in its 2019 shortlist, for their books The Testaments and Quichotte respectively. While Rushdie's novel is a recalibration of the immensely popular Don Quixote, Atwood’s is a sequel to her high-watermark work The Handmaid’s Tale.
The Booker comes with a cash prize of £50,000 – although the shortlisted authors also receive £2,500 each as well as a specially bound edition of their book.
Others in contention are Turkish author Elif Shafak for 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World, Anglo-Nigerian author Bernardine Evaristo for Girl, Woman, Other, Nigerian author Chigozie Obioma for An Orchestra of Minorities, and Anglo-US writer Lucy Ellmann for her epic Ducks, Newburyport.
According to Bookseller, the chair of judges Peter Florence said that 2019 has been "the most extraordinary year of entries with the range of scope a testament to a vibrant and deeply adventurous publishing industry." The website also quoted Florence as saying that he recommends all the long-listed works (which did not make the cut to the shortlist) to readers.
The 2019 winner will be announced on 14 October at an award ceremony at London’s Guildhall.
This is the first year that the Booker is being sponsored by the charitable organisation Crankstart.
Booker Prize finds new sponsor
(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)