2020 Booker Prize Longlist

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“It’s full of bold writing, fresh writing, accomplished writing, from points of view that aren’t always expected.” Judges Margaret Busby, Lee Child, Sameer Rahim, Lemn Sissay, and Emily Wilson talk about the thirteen novels longlisted for the 2020 Booker Prize, which includes This Mournable Body by Tsitsi Dangarembga, The Mirror & The Light by Hilary Mantel, The Shadow King by Maaza Mengiste, Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid, Real Life by Brandon Taylor, and How Much of These Hills Is Gold by C Pam Zhang.

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Fracture

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“Something that has survived damage can be considered more valuable, more beautiful.” In this book trailer, Andrés Neuman narrates a selection from his latest novel, Fracture (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2020), translated from the Spanish by Nick Caistor and Lorenza Garcia, a cross-cultural story set against the backdrop of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster.

Kacen Callender

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“What does it feel like, to love someone so much that you’re willing to publicly bare your heart and soul with a black Sharpie?” In this Harper Stacks at Home video, Lambda Award–winning author Kacen Callender reads from their novel Felix Ever After (Balzer + Bray, 2020), which follows the journey of a Black, queer, and transgender teen grappling with identity while falling in love for the first time.

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Examining The Joy Luck Club

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“Tan speaks to anxieties that plague many immigrants, who often feel both alienated from their homeland and disconnected from their adopted country.” In this TED-Ed animated film, Sheila Marie Orfano breaks down the themes of Amy Tan’s first novel, The Joy Luck Club, and the lessons learned from the intergenerational relationships of the characters.

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Laura Lippman on Visual Outlines

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“There comes a point where you’ve gotten so deep into the novel that the words don’t really make sense anymore,” says Laura Lippman as she describes the need for a tactile writing process involving visual and colorful outlines. Lippman’s latest novel, Lady in the Lake (William Morrow, 2019), is set in 1960s Baltimore and follows a housewife turned aspiring reporter who pursues the murder of a forgotten young woman.

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A Particular Kind of Black Man

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“The protagonist of my novel is forced to construct a persona because the persona that he inherits from his father and from society doesn’t match who he actually is.” Nigerian American author Tope Folarin, winner of the 2013 Caine Prize for African Writing, talks about the theme of identity construction in his debut novel, A Particular Kind of Black Man (Simon & Schuster, 2019).

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Ann Beattie on Her Writing Process

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“I start with a physical feeling. I start with a visual image.” On Late Night With Seth Meyers, Ann Beattie speaks about her writing process, the differences between writing a novel and a short story, and how she came up with the title for her most recent novel, A Wonderful Stroke of Luck (Viking, 2019).

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Looker

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“It’s a novel of ideas, too—it’s concerned with the consequences of our societal obsession with celebrity, status, appearance, and wealth,” says Laura Sims about her debut novel, Looker (Scribner, 2019). In this video, Sims also talks about how libraries have played an important role throughout her life, and how she drew inspiration from the work of Elena Ferrante and Jenny Offill, and numerous science fiction, murder mystery, and horror novels.

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