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Zimbabwe’s Tsitsi Dangarembga & Ethiopian-American Maaza Mengiste make the 2020 Booker Prize Longlist



Zimbabwean novelist Tsitsi Dangarembga and Ethiopian-American author Maaza Mengiste are among 13 authors on a list of contenders for the prestigious Booker Prize for fiction this year. 

Their two novels, “This Mournable Body” and “The Shadow King” respectively, have been selected from 162 novels by a panel of five judges.

Mengiste took to Twitter to celebrate the news, writing:

I heard some noise. I am speechless. This list with these other writers: @blgtylr @kileyreid @efie41209591…This whole list is on fire. (I’m not crying, you’re crying).

In 2019, Nigerian writers Chigozie Obioma and Oyinkan Braithwaite made the longlist, with Obioma going on to make the shortlist of the prize that was eventually jointly won by British-Nigerian writer Bernadine Evaristo and American Margaret Atwood.

According to The Booker Prize, the shortlist of six books will be announced on Tuesday, 15 September. While the 2020 winner will be announced in November.

The winner of the 2020 Booker Prize receives £50,000 and can expect international recognition. The shortlisted authors each receive £2,500 and a specially bound edition of their book.

Dangarembga and Mengiste who are up with contenders like two-time Booker Prize winner, and are the only two writers from Africa on the list of 13 authors.

Other authors in the longlist include:

  • Diane Cook for “The New Wilderness” 
  • Avni Doshi for “Burnt Sugar
  • Gabriel Krause for “Who They Was” 
  • Hilary Mantel for “The Mirror & The Light
  • Colum McCann for “Apeirogon” 
  • Kiley Reid for “Such a Fun Age
  • Brandon Taylor for “Real Life
  • Anne Tyler for “Redhead by The Side of The Road” 
  • Douglas Stuart for “Shuggie Bain” 
  • Sophie Ward for “Love and Other Thought Experiments
  • C Pam Zhang for “How Much of These Hills is Gold

Congratulations to all the authors!

Star Features