Find Your Next Fiction Read: The Booker Prize 2023 Longlist

booker prize 2023 list

The Booker Prize is the leading literary award in the English speaking world, and has brought recognition, reward and readership to outstanding fiction for over five decades. Each year, the prize is awarded to what is, in the opinion of the judges, the best sustained work of fiction written in English and published in the UK and Ireland. The longlist of 13 books – the ‘Booker Dozen’ – was announced on August 1, 2023 with the shortlist of six books to follow on September 21. The winner of the £50,000 prize will be announced at an event at Old Billingsgate, London, on November 26, 2023. The longlist features books from four continents, four Irish writers, four debut novelists – and ten authors who are recognised by the Booker Prize for the first time They explore universal and topical themes: from deeply moving personal dramas to tragi-comic family sagas; from the effects of climate change to the oppression of minorities; from scientific breakthroughs to competitive sport.  All 13 novels cast new light on what it means to exist in our time, and they do so in original and thrilling ways,’ according to Esi Edugyan, Chair of the judges You are sure to find a great read in the following longlisted titles available or soon to be available to borrow with your Livingston Library card.  Please note few titles are yet to be released in the US. All The Little Bird-Hearts by Viktoria LLoyd-Barlow (not yet released in the US) A lyrical and poignant debut novel offers a deft exploration of motherhood, vulnerability and the complexity of human relationships.   Sunday Forrester does things more carefully than most people. On quiet days, she must eat only white foods. Her etiquette handbook guides her through confusing social situations, and to escape, she turns to her treasury of Sicilian folklore. The one thing very much out of her control is Dolly – her clever, headstrong daughter, now on the cusp of leaving home.  Into this carefully ordered world step Vita and Rollo, a charming couple who move in next door and proceed to deliciously break just about every rule in Sunday’s book. Soon they are in and out of each other’s homes, and Sunday feels loved and accepted as never before. But beneath Vita and Rollo’s polish lies something else, something darker. For Sunday has precisely what Vita has always wanted for herself: a daughter of her own.   The Bee Sting by Paul Murray A patch of ice on the road, a casual favor to a charming stranger, a bee caught beneath a bridal veil – can a single moment of bad luck change the direction of a life? Dickie’s once-lucrative car business is going under – but rather than face the music, he’s spending his days in the woods, building an apocalypse-proof bunker. His exasperated wife Imelda is selling off her jewelry on eBay while half-heartedly dodging the attentions of fast-talking cattle farmer Big Mike.  Meanwhile, teenage daughter Cass, formerly top of her class, seems determined to binge-drink her way to her final exams. And 12-year-old PJ, in debt to local sociopath ‘Ears’ Moran, is putting the final touches to his grand plan to run away.  Yes, in Murray’s brilliant tragicomic saga, the Barnes family is definitely in trouble. So where did it all go wrong? And if the story has already been written – is there still time to find a happy ending?  The House of Doors by Tan Twan Eng (due for US release in October) A masterful novel of public morality and private truth that examines love and betrayal under the shadow of Empire.   It is 1921 and at Cassowary House in the Straits Settlements of Penang, Robert Hamlyn is a well-to-do lawyer, his steely wife Lesley a society hostess. Their lives are invigorated when Willie, an old friend of Robert’s, comes to stay.   Willie Somerset Maugham is one of the greatest writers of his day. But he is beleaguered by an unhappy marriage, ill-health and business interests that have gone badly awry. He is also struggling to write. The more Lesley’s friendship with Willie grows, the more clearly she sees him as he is – a man who has no choice but to mask his true self.  As Willie prepares to face his demons, Lesley confides secrets of her own, including her connection to the case of an Englishwoman charged with murder in the Kuala Lumpur courts – a tragedy drawn from fact, and worthy of fiction.   How To Build A Boat by Elaine Feeney (due for US release in November) Feeney tells the story of how one boy on a unique mission transforms the lives of his teachers, and brings together a community.   Jamie O’Neill loves the color red. He also loves tall trees, patterns, rain that comes with wind, the curvature of many objects, books with dust jackets, cats, rivers and Edgar Allan Poe.  At the age of 13, there are two things he especially wants in life: to build a Perpetual Motion Machine, and to connect with his mother Noelle, who died when he was born. In his mind, these things are intimately linked.  And at his new school, where all else is disorientating and overwhelming, he finds two people who might just be able to help him. If I Survive You by Jonathan Escoffery An exhilarating novel-in-stories that pulses with style, heart and barbed humor, while unraveling what it means to carve out an existence between cultures, homes and pay cheques. In 1979, as political violence consumes their native Kingston, Topper and Sanya flee to Miami. But they soon learn that the welcome in America will be far from warm.     Trelawny, their youngest son, comes of age in a society that regards him with suspicion and confusion. Their eldest son Delano’s longing for a better future for his own children is equalled only by his recklessness in trying to secure it.  As both brothers navigate the obstacles littered in their path – an unreliable father,