July 23, 2022 · 10:33 am
The 2022 Booker Prize longlist will be announced on Tuesday 26 July and I’ve put together my annual list of predictions for what I think might be some strong possibilities alongside my personal preferences based on some of the novels I’ve read, and others I have read. heard of. As always, it is impossible to know which novels have been submitted for consideration, but those published in the UK between 1 October 2021 and 30 September 2022 will be eligible. My long-term prediction lists for 2020 and 2021 included this year’s likely winners: Douglas Stewart Shuggie Bain and The Promise of Damon Galgut. The question is, can I do it three years in a row…?
Speaking of recent winners, New Mungo author Douglas Stewart could be a strong contender for the Scottish author’s Booker prize a couple of years ago. Several authors selected in previous years have also published new books. A Case Study of Graham McRae Burnett is definitely one of my favorites and is a cleverly written novel consisting of a fictional biography of a radical psychoanalyst and the ‘discovered’ notebooks of one of his patients. Hanya Yanagihara to Paradise is a sprawling epic that spans three centuries in an alternate version of New York.
A place on the long list for Marriage portrait of Maggie O’Farrell could make up for several previous omissions. Her latest work of historical fiction, released at the end of August, looks at the life of Lucrezia de’ Medici in Renaissance Italy. Other novels by those who are long overdue for a Booker Prize Kate Atkinson’s Sanctuaries of Fun which will be published in September and is set in 1920s London and The Fell by Sarah Moss which is a short but impressive latest novel set during the second lockdown of the Peak District.
Irish novelists often have a strong place in the Booker Prize longlist. Audrey Magee Colony explores the impact of colonialism on a small island off the west coast of Ireland when a French linguist and an English painter visit. Queen of Filth Island by Donal Ryan explores four generations of women in Tipperary and will be published in August.
Between debuts, I’ve heard a lot of good things about Joanne Quinn Theater The Whalebone set between the First and Second World Wars in Dorset. in the same way The Misdemeanors of Louise Kennedy is another critically acclaimed first novel about a couple having an affair during the 1975 Belfast riots.
Among novelists living in North America Trust of Hernan Diaz has been described as a literary puzzle and consists of four books in one, ostensibly about a New York financier, but also about much more. Crossroads by Jonathan Franzen is the first book in a trilogy and deals with Franzen’s specialty of dysfunctional Midwestern families. Fight Night by Miriam Toews has received many positive reviews and is about a nine-year-old girl who lives with her pregnant mother in Canada.
Which books would you like to see on the Booker Prize shortlist this year?