It's time to give black authors a chance to be heard and Bernardine is doing just that. Read to find out how she's putting Black British authors back in the spotlight!
Every December, former US president Barack Obama reveals his reading list, a compilation of books that stood out to him that year. Obama is known for reading voraciously and widely, so his reading list is always an interesting read in itself. This year Irish author Sally Rooney’s hit novel Normal People appeared alongside Bernadine Evaristo’s Man Book Prize-winning book Girl, Woman, Other as well as non-fiction titles such as Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud, and the Last Trial of Harper Lee by Casey Cep and Trick Mirror: Reflections on Self-Delusion by Jia Tolentino. Check out his full list below!
- The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power by Shoshana Zuboff
- The Anarchy: The East India Company, Corporate Violence, and the Pillage of an Empire
by William Dalrymple
- Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud, and the Last Trial of Harper Lee by Casey Cep
- Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo
- The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee: Native America from 1890 to the Present by David Treuer
- How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy by Jenny Odell
- Lost Children Archive by Valeria Luiselli
- Lot: Stories by Bryan Washington
- Normal People by Sally Rooney
- The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson
- The Yellow House by Sarah M. Broom
- Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland by Patrick Radden Keefe
- Solitary by Albert Woodfox
- The Topeka School by Ben Lerner
- Trick Mirror: Reflections on Self-Delusion by Jia Tolentino
- Trust Exercise by Susan Choi
- The Sixth Man by Andre Iguodala
- We Live in Water: Stories by Jess Walter
- A Different Way to Win: Dan Rooney’s Story from the Super Bowl to the Rooney Rule by Jim Rooney
Previous winners of the prestigious Booker Prize, Margaret Atwood and Salman Rushdie, join four other exciting authors on the Booker Prize shortlist this year.
Images via Amazon
Atwood won the prize in 2000 for The Blind Assassin, and she’s back in contention for her much-anticipated sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale. Her latest book, The Testaments, is set to release next week, and it’s already turning quite a few heads. Peter Florence, chair of this year’s judges and one of the few people to have read The Testaments, described the book as “a savage and beautiful novel that speaks to us today with conviction and power.” Speaking about the list more generally, Florence said, like all great literature, these books teem with life, with a profound and celebratory humanity.”
Another of those books teeming with life is Salman Rushdie’s Quichotte! Rushdie won the Booker Prize with Midnight Children in 1981, which was also deemed “Booker of Bookers” in 1993 and “Best of the Booker” in 2008. Rushdie’s latest work takes inspiration from Miguel de Cervantes’ Don Quixote, telling the story of an aging traveling salesman’s journey across America.
Florence has also sung the praises of Quichotte, saying it “pushes the boundaries of fiction and satire.”
Image via BBC
Joining Atwood and Rushdie on the short list is Lucy Ellman’s Ducks, Newburyport. Ellman is the only U.S. author on this year’s list, and her mammoth 998-page novel is a stream-of-consciousness monologue largely consisting of one continuous sentence. If it wins, Ellman’s novel will be the longest novel to ever win the Booker Prize.
image via BBc
Bernardine Evaristo’s Girl, Woman, Other also made this prestigious list. The Anglo-Nigerian author’s eighth novel follows the lives of 12 characters, most of whom are black, British women. Evaristo said her writing aims to “explore the hidden narratives of the African diaspora” and “subvert expectations and assumptions”.
Image via bbc
Chigozie Obioma, born in Nigeria in 1986, is the youngest author on the shortlist this year. Now based in the U.S., both of Obioma’s novels have been shortlisted for the Booker Prize. An Orchestra of Minorities tells the story of a young Nigerian chicken farmer whose love for a woman drives him to become an African migrant in Europe. Afua Hirsch, one of the competition’s judges, describe the tale as “a book that wrenches the heart.”
Image via BBc
Elif Shafak’s 17th book, 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World, consists of the recollections of a sex worker who has been left for dead in a rubbish bin. Liz Calder, another of the competition’s judges, called the book “a work of fearless imagination.” Shafak writes in both English and Turkish, and she’s the most widely read female author in Turkey.
Featured image via The Daily Star