Booker Prize Shortlist 2020: Indian-Origin Avni Doshi In, Double-Winner Hilary Mantel Misses Out

Mantel had won the Booker for the two previous novels in her trilogy — 'Wolf Hall' and 'Bring Up the Bodies'.
A file photo of Avni Doshi.
A file photo of Avni Doshi.

The shortlist for the 2020 Booker Prize, which was announced on Tuesday, includes Indian-origin writer Avni Doshi for Burnt Sugar, but Hilary Mantel’s The Mirror and the Light has missed out.

Mantel had won the Booker for the two previous novels in her trilogy — Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies.

The 2020 shortlist was selected by a panel of five judges and includes:

- Diane Cook, The New Wilderness

- Tsitsi Dangarembga, This Mournable Body

- Avni Doshi, Burnt Sugar (published as Girl in White Cotton in India in 2019)

- Maaza Mengiste, The Shadow King

- Douglas Stuart, Shuggie Bain

- Brandon Taylor, Real Life

Founded in 1969, the prize is open to English-language authors from around the world, but until 2014 only British, Irish and Commonwealth writers were eligible. The winner will be announced on 17 November.

Margaret Busby, chair of the 2020 judges, said that the novels on this year’s shortlist range in setting from an unusual child growing up in working-class Glasgow in the 1980s, to a woman coping with a post-colonial nightmare in Zimbabwe.

“Along the way we meet a man struggling with racism on a university campus, join a trek in the wilderness after an environmental disaster, eavesdrop on a woman coping with her ageing mother as they travel across India and in an exploration of female power discover how ordinary people rose up in 1930s Ethiopia to defend their country against invading Italians. It’s a wondrous and enriching variety of stories, and hugely exciting as well,” Busby added.

In 2019, the prize landed in controversy after the final award was split between Margaret Atwood and Bernardine Evaristo, the first Black woman to win.

(With AP inputs)