Two Saffa authors longlisted for Booker Prize

27 July 2021 - 12:17 By Mila de Villiers
The 2021 Booker Prize longlist includes two titles by local authors.
The 2021 Booker Prize longlist includes two titles by local authors.
Image: Suplied

The 13 titles longlisted for the prestigious Booker Prize were announced today.

First awarded in 1969, the Booker Prize is regarded as the leading award for high-quality literary fiction written in English.

This year’s shortlist features two novels by *djembe roll* SA authors Damon Galgut (The Promise), and Karen Jennings (An Island). 

The Promise examines the decline of a prejudiced Afrikaner family during SA’s transitional period, beginning in the mid-1980s and ending in 2018. Galgut has twice been shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize for his novels The Good Doctor (2003) and In a Strange Room (2010).

Jennings, whose debut novel Finding Soutbek was shortlisted for the inaugural Etisalat Prize for Literature, explores the topics of xenophobia, rejection, identity and the meaning of home in An Island. 

The 2021 longlist:

  • A Passage North, Anuk Arudpragasam (Granta Books, Granta Publications)
  • Second Place, Rachel Cusk, (Faber)
  • The Promise, Damon Galgut, (Chatto & Windus, Vintage, PRH)
  • The Sweetness of Water, Nathan Harris (Tinder Press, Headline, Hachette Book Group)
  • Klara and the Sun, Kazuo Ishiguro (Faber)
  • An Island, Karen Jennings (Holland House Books)
  • A Town Called Solace, Mary Lawson (Chatto & Windus, Vintage, PRH)
  • No One is Talking About This, Patricia Lockwood (Bloomsbury Circus, Bloomsbury Publishing)
  • The Fortune Men, Nadifa Mohamed (Viking, Penguin General, PRH)
  • Bewilderment, Richard Powers (Hutchinson Heinemann, PRH)
  • China Room, Sunjeev Sahota (Harvill Secker, Vintage, PRH)
  • Great Circle, Maggie Shipstead (Doubleday, Transworld Publishers, PRH)
  • Light Perpetual, Francis Spufford (Faber)

The shortlist of six books will be announced on Sept. 14.


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