The Booker Prize has released its longlist of 13 books, and the authors honored span ages and backgrounds, working within many genres to shape their novels’ imagined worlds. “Over the last seven months or so, we have read and discussed 169 works of fiction, all written in English, by authors and about subjects from all over the globe,” Neil MacGregor, chair of the Booker Prize 2022 judges, wrote in a statement. The “challenging, stimulating, surprising, nourishing” books selected “expand and exploit” the possibilities of language to give us some good reads, he said. Academic and broadcaster Shahidha Bari, historian Helen Castor, and writers M. John Harrison and Alain Mabanckou joined MacGregor on the judging panel.
The list contains the youngest and oldest writers to ever be nominated for the award. Leila Mottley, 20, is nominated for her debut, Nightcrawling — written when the author was 17 — inspired by a true case of cops sexually abusing a young woman in Oakland. Alan Garner is an 87-year-old known for his award-winning 1967 novel The Owl Service. He is longlisted for Treacle Walker, an adventure story about an unlikely friendship between a bog-man and a young boy. If Garner earns the prize, he will be the oldest person to ever win. He turns 88 on the day of the ceremony.
The debut novels by Maddie Mortimer, Selby Wynn Schwartz, and Mottley made the cut, while NoViolet Bulawayo, Karen Joy Fowler, Graeme Macrae Burnet, and Elizabeth Strout have all previously appeared on the list. Claire Keegan’s Small Things Like These is the shortest book ever recognized, clocking in at 116 pages. The shortlist will be announced on September 6. See the full list below.
The Booker Prize 2022 Longlist
Glory by NoViolet Bulawayo
Trust by Hernan Diaz
The Trees by Percival Everett
Booth by Karen Joy Fowler
Treacle Walker by Alan Garner
The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida by Shehan Karunatilaka
Small Things Like These by Claire Keegan
Case Study by Graeme Macrae Burnet
The Colony by Audrey Magee
Maps of Our Spectacular Bodies by Maddie Mortimer
Nightcrawling by Leila Mottley
After Sappho by Selby Lynn Schwartz
Oh William! by Elizabeth Strout