Booker's Dozen 2018

17th August 2018

The second hottest literary list of the year – the Man Booker Longlist – has now been revealed. The hottest, of course, is the Shortlist, due on 20 September. We’ll be posting Longlist reviews online over the next month, and printing Shortlist reviews in our 29 September magazine.

The 2018 panel of five judges is: philosopher Kwame Anthony Appiah (Chair); crime writer Val McDermid; cultural critic Leo Robson; feminist writer and critic Jacqueline Rose; and artist and graphic novelist Leanne Shapton. The list was chosen from 171 submissions – the highest number of titles put forward in the prize’s 50 year history – published in the UK and Ireland between 1 October 2017 and 30 September 2018.

The Man Booker Prize for Fiction, first awarded in 1969, is open to writers of any nationality, writing in English and published in the UK and Ireland. This is the first year that novels published in Ireland are eligible for the prize, following a change in rules that recognises the special relationship between the UK and Irish publishing markets.

To whet your appetites, here’s a quick preview of this year's titles...

Snap – Belinda Bauer

A mother disappears. Life as her children know it is changed forever. This is a stylish, expertly paced novel about how we survive trauma.

Milkman – Anna Burns

Genuinely experimental, this is a tale of gossip and hearsay, silence and deliberate deafness: the story of inaction with enormous consequences.

Sabrina – Nick Drnaso

The first graphic novel to hit the Longlist, ‘Sabrina’ exposes what happens when intimate tragedy collides with the appetites of the 24-hour news cycle.

Washington Black – Esi Edugyan

Inspired by a true story, this is the tale of a world destroyed – and the search to make it whole again. Escape is only the beginning…

In Our Mad and Furious City – Guy Gunaratne

Summer in the city: football, music, freedom, radicalism and riots. Both social panorama and thriller, this is an ambitious novel for our times.

Everything Under – Daisy Johnson

A solitary life is disturbed by memories of a strange past in this beguiling exploration of family and gender and the ways we understand each other.

The Mars Room – Rachel Kushner

The violence and absurdity of life in a Women’s Correctional Facility underpin this bleakly comic account of the corruption of the American dream.

The Water Cure – Sophie Mackintosh

Set in a world where women are not safe in their bodies, this is a taut, tense story of suffering, sisterhood, transformation and the price of survival.

Warlight – Michael Ondaatje

Secrets, lies and the distortions of understanding resonate at the heart of this elegant novel, peopled by eccentrics and criminals, full of atmosphere.

The Overstay – Richard Powers

An ambitious novel of ideas, this ecological epic unfolds layers of interlocking stories, focusing on how we are destroying and saving our trees.

The Long Take – Robin Robertson

A D-Day veteran – a good man, brutalised and haunted by war – is in search of kindness. Set in a fractured time in the US, this is film noir on the page.

Normal People – Sally Rooney

An intimate account of two young people trying to figure out how to love each other, amid a legacy of domination, legitimacy and privilege.

From A Low and Quiet Sea – Donal Ryan

The refugee. The dreamer. The penitent. From war-torn Syria to small-town Ireland, three men – scarred by all they’ve loved and lost – are searching for ‘home’.

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