Borrow the 2019 Booker Prize Longlist

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 Booker LonglistThe 2019 Booker Prize longlist, or ‘Booker Dozen’, was announced in July, with Irish author Kevin Barry's Night Boat to Tangier among the nominees.

All thirteen 2019 Book Prize nominated novels can be requested through our online catalogue. Simply click on the book cover or title to be taken to the online reserve page. All you need is your library card membership number and PIN to reserve a book.

The 2019 Booker Prize longlist of 13 novels

The Testaments
Margaret Atwood (Canada), The Testaments (Vintage, Chatto & Windus)
The Testaments
is set 15 years after Offred’s final scene in The Handmaid’s Tale and is narrated by three female characters.

NIght boat to Tangier
Kevin Barry (Ireland), Night Boat to Tangier (Canongate Books)
It’s late one night at the Spanish port of Algeciras and two fading Irish gangsters are waiting on the boat from Tangier. A lover has been lost, a daughter has gone missing, their world has come asunder. Can it be put together again? This is a novel drenched in sex and death and narcotics, in sudden violence and old magic, but it is obsessed, above all, with the mysteries of love. A tragicomic masterwork from a multi-award-winning writer, Night Boat to Tangier is both mordant and hilarious, lyrical yet laden with menace.

 My Sister The Serial Killer
Oyinkan Braithwaite (UK/Nigeria), My Sister, The Serial Killer (Atlantic Books)
When Korede's dinner is interrupted one night by a distress call from her sister, Ayoola, she knows what's expected of her: bleach, rubber gloves, nerves of steel and a strong stomach. This'll be the third boyfriend Ayoola's dispatched in, quote, self-defence and the third mess that her lethal little sibling has left Korede to clear away. She should probably go to the police for the good of the menfolk of Nigeria, but she loves her sister and, as they say, family always comes first. Until, that is, Ayoola starts dating the fit doctor where Korede works as a nurse. Korede's long been in love with him, and isn't prepared to see him wind up with a knife in his back: but to save one would mean sacrificing the other...

Ducks Newburyport
Lucy Ellmann (USA/UK), Ducks, Newburyport (Galley Beggar Press)
Latticing one cherry pie after another, an Ohio housewife tries to bridge the gaps between reality and the torrent of meaningless info that is the United States of America. She worries about her children, her dead parents, African elephants, the bedroom rituals of “happy couples”, Weapons of Mass Destruction, and how to hatch an abandoned wood pigeon egg. Is there some trick to surviving survivalists? School shootings? Medical debts? Franks ’n’ beans? A scorching indictment of America’s barbarity, past and present, and a lament for the way we are sleepwalking into environmental disaster, Ducks, Newburyport is a heresy, a wonder—and a revolution in the novel.

Girl Woman Other
Bernardine Evaristo (UK), Girl, Woman, Other (Hamish Hamilton)
Girl, Woman, Other
follows the lives and struggles of 12 very different characters. Mostly women, black and British, they tell the stories of their families, friends and lovers, across the country and through the years.  Joyfully polyphonic and vibrantly contemporary, this is a gloriously new kind of history, a novel of our times: celebratory, ever-dynamic and utterly irresistible.

The Wall
John Lanchester (UK), The Wall (Faber & Faber)
The Wall
 is a thrilling and hypnotic work of fiction: a mystery story, a love story, a war story and a story about a voyage. Kavanagh begins his life patrolling the Wall. If he’s lucky, if nothing goes wrong, he has only two years of this: 729 more nights. The best thing that can happen is that he survives and gets off the Wall and never has to spend another day of his life anywhere near it. He longs for this to be over; longs to be somewhere else. The Wall is a novel about why the young are right to distrust the old. It’s about a broken world you will recognise as your own – and about what might be found when all is lost.

The Man Who Saw Everything
Deborah Levy (UK), The Man Who Saw Everything (Hamish Hamilton)
In 1988 Saul Adler (a narcissistic, young historian) is hit by a car on the Abbey Road. He is apparently fine; he gets up and goes to see his art student girlfriend, Jennifer Moreau. They have sex then break up, but not before she has photographed Saul crossing the same Abbey Road. Saul leaves to study in communist East Berlin, two months before the Wall comes down. There he will encounter - significantly - both his assigned translator and his translator's sister, who swears she has seen a jaguar prowling the city. He will fall in love and brood upon his difficult, authoritarian father. And he will befriend a hippy, Rainer, who may or may not be a Stasi agent, but will certainly return to haunt him in middle age. Slipping slyly between time zones and leaving a spiralling trail, Deborah Levy's electrifying The Man Who Saw Everythingexamines what we see and what we fail to see, the grave crime of carelessness, the weight of history and our ruinous attempts to shrug it off.

Lost Children Archive
Valeria Luiselli (Mexico/Italy), Lost Children Archive (4th Estate)
A family in New York packs the car and sets out on a road trip. A mother, a father, a boy and a girl, they head south west, to the Apacheria, the regions of the US which used to be Mexico. They drive for hours through desert and mountains. They stop at diners when they’re hungry and sleep in motels when it gets dark. Meanwhile, thousands of children are journeying north, travelling to the US border from Central America and Mexico. Not all of them will make it to the border. In a breathtaking feat of literary virtuosity, Lost Children Archives intertwines these two journeys to create a masterful novel full of echoes and reflections – a moving, powerful, urgent story about what it is to be human in an inhuman world.

An Orchestra of minorites
Chigozie Obioma (Nigeria), An Orchestra of Minorities (Little Brown)
Umuahia, Nigeria. Chinonso, a young poultry farmer, sees a woman attempting to jump to her death from a highway bridge. Horrified by her recklessness, Chinonso joins her on the roadside and hurls two of his most prized chickens into the water below to demonstrate the severity of the fall. The woman, Ndali, is moved by his sacrifice. Bonded by this strange night on the bridge, Chinonso and Ndali fall in love. But Ndali is from a wealthy family, and when they officially object to the union because he is uneducated, Chinonso sells most of his possessions to attend a small college in Cyprus. Once in Cyprus, he discovers that all is not what it seems. Furious at a world that continues to relegate him to the sidelines, Chinonso gets further and further away from his dream, from Ndali and the place he called home. Partly based on a true story, An Orchestra of Minorities is also a contemporary twist on Homer’s Odyssey. In the mythic style of the Igbo literary tradition, Chigozie Obioma weaves a heart-wrenching epic about the tension between destiny and determination.

Lanny
Max Porter (UK), Lanny (Faber & Faber)
There is a village outside London, no different from many others. Everyday lives conjure a tapestry of fabulism and domesticity. This village belongs to the people who live in it and to the people who lived in it hundreds of years ago. It belongs to England’s mysterious past and its confounding present. But it also belongs to Dead Papa Toothwort who has woken from his slumber and is listening, and watching. He is watching Mad Pete the village artist. He is listening to ancient Peggy gossiping at her gate, to families recently moved here and to families dead for generations. Dead Papa Toothwort hears them all as he searches, intently, for his favourite. Looking for the boy. Lanny.

Quichotte
Salman Rushdie (UK/India), Quichotte (Jonathan Cape)
Inspired by the classic Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes, Quichotte is the story of an aging travelling salesman who falls in love with a TV star and sets off to drive across America on a quest to prove himself worthy of her hand. Quichotte’s tragicomic tale is one of a deranged time, and deals, along the way, with father-son relationships, sibling quarrels, racism, the opioid crisis, cyber-spies, and the end of the world.

10 minutes 38 seconds in this strange world
Elif Shafak (UK/Turkey), 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World (Viking)
For Leila, each minute after her death brings a sensuous memory: the taste of spiced goat stew, sacrificed by her father to celebrate the long-awaited birth of a son; the sight of bubbling vats of lemon and sugar which the women use to wax their legs while the men attend mosque; the scent of cardamom coffee that Leila shares with a handsome student in the brothel where she works. Each memory, too, recalls the friends she made at each key moment in her life – friends who are now desperately trying to find her. . .

Frankissstein
Jeanette Winterson (UK), Frankissstein (Jonathan Cape)
In Brexit Britain, a young transgender doctor called Ry is falling in love – against their better judgement – with Victor Stein, a celebrated professor leading the public debate around AI. Meanwhile, Ron Lord, just divorced and living with Mum again, is set to make his fortune launching a new generation of sex dolls for lonely men everywhere. Across the Atlantic, in Phoenix, Arizona, a cryonics facility houses dozens of bodies of men and women who are medically and legally dead… but waiting to return to life. But the scene is set in 1816, when 19-year-old Mary Shelley writes a story about creating a non-biological life-form. ‘Beware, for I am fearless and therefore powerful.'  Spanning multiple timeframes, Frankissstein is funny and furious, bold and clear-sighted, exploring gender identity and the far-reaching consequences of the AI revolution we are already living through. What will happen when homo sapiens are no longer the smartest being on the planet? Jeanette Winterson shows us how much closer we are to that future than we realise.

 

*Descriptions of the books from https://thebookerprizes.com/fiction

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