Anne Tyler and Avni Doshi make 2020 Booker Prize longlist

Redhead by the Side of the Road and Burnt Sugar are among the 13 novels vying for the world's most prestigious literary award.

Booker prize longlist 2020
Photo: Booker Prize

The longlist for this year’s Booker Prize has been announced, and Penguin authors Anne Tyler and Avni Doshi are among the novelists vying for the world's most prestigious literary award.

Tyler's Redhead By the Side of the Road shot straight to the top of the New York Times bestseller list when it was released in April. A warm-hearted and wise look at family, love and the eccentricities of middle age, it earned praise from around the world as another career highlight from one of America's most consistent and respected authors. Tyler was previously shortlisted for the Booker in 2015 for A Spool of Blue Thread.

Burnt Sugar, meanwhile, is the debut novel from Avni Doshi and comes out on Thursday. Already a critical success, it is a family story that offers a "stark new portrayal of motherhood" full of "searing truths". 

Other books to make the longlist include two-time winner Hilary Mantel for The Mirror & the Light, the final part of a Cromwell trilogy that has already seen her win the award with instalments one and two, and Such A Fun Age, the wisely praised debut from American author Kiley Reid. 

Judging this year's winner is a star-studded panel chaired by editor, critic and former publisher Margaret Busby. Jack Reacher mastermind Lee Child; author and critic Sameer Rahim; writer and broadcaster Lemn Sissay; and classicist and translator Emily Wilson will together decide which author deserves the £50,000 prize.

"Included are novels carried by the sweep of history with memorable characters brought to life and given visibility, novels that represent a moment of cultural change, or the pressures an individual faces in pre- and post-dystopian society," Busby said in a statement.

"Some of the books focus on interpersonal relationships that are complex, nuanced, emotionally charged. There are voices from minorities often unheard, stories that are fresh, bold and absorbing," she continued.

"The best fiction enables the reader to relate to other people's lives; sharing experiences that we could not ourselves have imagined is as powerful as being able to identify with characters."

The shortlist of six books will be announced on 15 September, with the winning author being revealed in November.

Here is the longlist in full:

Diane Cook - The New Wilderness

Tsitsi Dangarembga - This Mournable Body

Avni Doshi - Burnt Sugar

Gabriel Krauze - Who They Was

Hilary Mantel - The Mirror & The Light

Colum McCann - Apeirogon

Maaza Mengiste - The Shadow King

Kiley Reid - Such a Fun Age

Brandon Taylor - Real Life

Anne Tyler - Redhead by The Side of The Road

Douglas Stuart - Shuggie Bain

Sophie Ward - Love and Other Thought Experiments

C Pam Zhang - How Much of These Hills is Gold

Last year, Bernadine Evaristo's Girl, Woman, Other and Margaret Atwood's The Testaments were jointly awarded the prize.


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