Monday 16 September 2019

Booker Prize shortlist 2019: Salman Rushdie and Margaret Atwood make cut as Irish author Kevin Barry misses out

Author Margaret Atwood. Photo: PA
Author Margaret Atwood. Photo: PA
Aoife Kelly

Aoife Kelly

Salman Rushdie and Margaret Atwood are among the six authors shortlisted for this year's coveted Booker Prize.

Irish author Kevin Barry had made the longlist of 13 with his novel, Night Boat to Tangier, but does not feature among the six finalists.

Former winner Rushdie (he previously won in 1981) is in the running for the £50,000 prize with his book Quichotte while Atwood (who won in 2000) is also in the running with The Testaments, her follow-up to The Handmaid's Tale, which was shortlisted in 1986.

Read Quichotte review: Quichotte: Salman Rushdie’s timely and timeless Don Quixote for the modern age

The Tesatments will be published next week.

Other finalists include Bernardine Evaristo, Chigozie Obioma, Elif Shafak and Lucy Ellmann.

Ellmann is nominated for her novel Ducks, Newburyport, a stream-of-consciousness monologue, while Evaristo is nominated for Girl, Woman, Other.

For his novel An Orchestra of Minorities, Chigozie Obioma has been nominated a second time.  He was previously nominated for his debut novel, The Fisherman.

Read the review: Sprawling tale of a wanderer making flawed moral choices  

British-Turkish novelist Elif Shafak has earned her nomination among the shortlist for 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World, about a sex worker who has been left for dead in a rubbish bin.

Read the review: 10 Minutes 38 seconds in This Strange World: Female friendship, flashbacks, and misogyny

Belfast author Anna Burns won last year with Milkman.

The 2019 shortlist was announced on Tuesday at a press conference at the British Library in London.

The overall winner will be announed on October 24.

At the shortlist announcement today, organisers said the Booker Prize is free from nepotism and favouritism.

There were concerns raised about the presence of a publisher on the judging panel for the 2019 award, who had worked with shortlisted authors.

Publisher and editor Liz Calder helped whittle down a long-list to the final six, which includes her previous colleagues Sir Salman Rushdie.

Read more: Booker Prize organisers: Award is free from nepotism

Booker Prize judge: Writers are stepping up politically 

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