Hilary Mantel’s The Mirror and the Light, the much-awaited conclusion to her twice-Booker Prize winning Cromwell trilogy, leads the longlist for the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2020, announced late on Monday.
Mantel’s book, which will hit bookstores later this week, has received rave reviews already, with The Guardian calling it “a shoo-in for the Booker prize”.
But to win the £30,000 prize, Mantel will compete with 15 other books, including the actual Booker Prize winner of last year, Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo. Notably, Evaristo’s co-winner, Margaret Atwood, didn’t find place on the longlist for her hit sequel, The Testaments.
Indians have reason to be pleased, as Deepa Anappara’s much-hyped Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line has also found place on the list. Other prominent nominees include Actress by former Booker winner Anne Enright and The Dutch House by Ann Patchett.
The shortlist will be announced on 22 April and the winner on 3 June.
Judge Paula Hawkins, author of The Girl on the Train, was quoted as saying by The Guardian, “We had the most extraordinary list of submissions. I think it is unusual to have a year with quite so many heavy hitters publishing.”
Judge Martha Lane Fox said, “Ahead of the longlist meeting I was anxious that the negotiations between judges might be as arduous as Brexit, but it was an absolute delight to pick our final 16 books.”
The longlist of 16 novels is as follows:
1. Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line by Deepa Anappara
2. Fleishman is in Trouble by Taffy Brodesser-Akner
3. Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams
4. Dominicana by Angie Cruz
5. Actress by Anne Enright
6. Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo
7. Nightingale Point by Luan Goldie
8. A Thousand Ships by Natalie Haynes
9. How We Disappeared by Jing-Jing Lee
10. The Most Fun We Ever Had by Claire Lombardo
11. The Mirror and the Light by Hilary Mantel
12. Girl by Edna O’ Brien
13. Hamnet by Maggie O’ Farrell
14. Weather by Jenny Offill
15. The Dutch House by Ann Patchett
16. Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson