It has been announced that Hilary Mantel’s new book, The Mirror and the Light, has been long-listed for the 2020 Booker prize. This puts the British author in the running to win for an unprecedented third time.
The Mirror and the Light is the third book in Mantel’s Cromwell trilogy, it was selected for its “masterful exhibition of sly dialogue and exquisite description,” the judges said.
The 900-page novel begins after the beheading of Anne Boleyn in 1536 and details the final years of Cromwell.
Mantel has won the prize twice previously, both times were for the previous books in the same trilogy.
The long-list will be whittled down from 13 to a shortlist of just six books in September.
There are a number of British nominees this year, including Gabriel Krauze, Douglas Stuart and Sophie Ward.
The Zimbabwean writer Tsitsi Dangarembga was also nominated, like Mantel this is for the third novel in her trilogy.
This year’s long-list features eight debut novels.
Margaret Busby, chair of the 2020 judges, said that each novel on the list was “deserving of wide readership”.
“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,” she 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.”
“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 will be announced on 15th September and the final winner of the £50,000 prize will be revealed in November.
The full long-list is as follows:
Diane Cook – The New Wilderness
Tsitsi Dangarembga – This Mournable Body
Avni Doshi – Burnt Suga
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