Booker Prize 2023 nominees: Sebastian Barry and Paul Murray among longlist - who else has been nominated?

One of the most prestigious literary prizes in the world has announced its 2023 longlist, with Irish authors making up one third of the list for the first time

The longlist nominees have been announced for the 2023 Booker Prize. (AFP via Getty Images)The longlist nominees have been announced for the 2023 Booker Prize. (AFP via Getty Images)
The longlist nominees have been announced for the 2023 Booker Prize. (AFP via Getty Images)

The longlist nominees for the 2023 Booker Prize have been announced with 10 authors making their debut on the list.

The highly-prestigious literary prize, which was first awarded in 1969, returns to celebrate the most influential works of fiction published in the UK and Ireland in the past year. A total of 13 authors have been nominated, with the eventual winner joining the likes of Salman Rushdie, Kazuo Ishiguro and Margaret Attwood.

Amongst this year's nominees include four authors nominated for the debut novel, while six others also celebrate their first inclusion on the Booker Prize longlist. The Irish literary world is also celebrating, with one third of the nomination list being occupied by Irish novelists.

The 2022 Booker prize was awarded to Sri Lankan author Shehan Karunatilaka for his second novel The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida. The novel was the story of the killing of a war photographer set against a backdrop of civil war in the 1990s in Sri Lanka.

Here's everything you need to know about this year's nominees and when we'll find out who is the winner.

Who has been nominated for 2023 Booker Prize?

'A Spell of Good Things' by Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀

The second novel from Nigerian author Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀ was published in the UK in February 2023 to acclaim, with The Guardian calling the novel "immensely readable". It follows the story of two families from opposing backgrounds in modern Nigeria and how the lives of two children from both families intertwine in a sea of wealth and political corruption.

'Old God's Time' by Sebastian Barry

Irish author Sebastian Barry returned in 2023 with his latest offering 'Old God's Time', a detective story which tells the tale of a retired police officer returning to one of the most haunting cases from his past. Barry is considered to be one of Ireland's most acclaimed contemporary authors. He remains the only author to have won the Costa Book of the Year Award twice for his previous novels 'The Secret Scripture' and 'Days Without End'.

'Study for Obedience' - Sarah Bernstein

'Study for Obedience' is the second novel from Canadian author Sarah Bernstein. It follows the story of an unnamed narrator who returns to an unidentified location to become a housekeeper for her wealthy but distant brother, who has just split with his wife.

'If I Survive You' by Jonathan Escoffery

'If I Survive You' is the debut novel from American author Jonathan Escoffery. The novel follows a series of linked stories told from the perspective of a Jamaican family in 1970s Miami flowing through generations.

'How to Build a Boat' by Elaine Feeney

Published in April 2023, 'How to Build a Boat' is the latest work from Irish author Elaine Feeney. It tells the tale of a young teenage protagonist's quest to build a Perpetual Motion Machine and his attempts to connect to his dead mother by doing so.

'This Other Eden' by Paul Harding

Former Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Paul Harding returns to the literary scene with 'This Other Eden', his third published novel. The novel tells the story of 'Apple Island' - a fictionalised version of Malaga Island off the coast of Maine which was home of an interracial community until residents were forcibly moved from the island in 1911.

'Pearl' by Siân Hughes

'Pearl' tells the tale of a young eight-year-old girl whose mother goes missing and the journey she takes throughout her life to come to terms with what happened to her mother, with a medieval poem titled 'Pearl' launching her into a spiral of self-destruction. Hughes is an accomplished poet, winning the Seamus Heaney Award amongst others - 'Pearl' is her first novel.

'All the Little Bird-Hearts' by Viktoria Lloyd-Barlow

'All the Little Bird-hearts' is the debut novel from British author Viktoria Lloyd-Barlow. It follows the story of Sunday Forrester and her 16-year-old daughter Dolly whose lives are turned upside down when a new couple moves in next door.

'Prophet Song' by Paul Lynch

Award-winning Irish author Paul Lynch returns with 'Prophet Song', the story of an Irish scientist whose trade-unionist husband is arrested by a newly formed Irish secret police. Lynch has published four novels prior to the release of 'Prophet Song', and has won prizes such as the Kerry group Irish Novel of the Year for 'Grace'.

'In Ascension' by Martin MacInnes

Scottish author Martin MacInnes published his third novel 'In Ascension' in February 2023 to critical acclaim. The story follows Leigh, a marine biologist who makes an incredible discovery that questions everything we know about the world and its origins.

'Western Lane' Chetna Maroo

This coming-of-age story by British author Chetna Maroo explores themes of loss, grief and sisterhood told through the story of 11-year-old Gopi, a young squash player put through her paces in the sporting world following the death of her mother. The novel is Marro's debut, and has been lauded by critics since its publication in May 2023.

'The Bee Sting' by Paul Murray

Irish novelist Paul Murray re-introduced his comedic style of writing to fans with the publication of 'The Bee Sting' in June 2023 following previous success with novels 'Skippy Days' and 'The Mark and the Void'. The story follows the Barnes family and the different ways in which their plans and lives are unravelling, with the novel asking the question of whether one moment of luck can change the direction of someone's life.

'The House of Doors' by Tan Twan Eng

Previous Booker Prize nominee Tan Twan Eng, who was shortlisted in 2021 for his second novel 'The Garden of Evening Mists', returns to the nominee list with his third novel 'The House of Doors'. The novel tells the story of acclaimed writer W Somerset Maugham as he struggles with writer's block in 1920s Penang, Malaysia.

When will the winner of the Booker Prize 2023 be announced?

The 13-strong longlist is set to be whittled down to just six for the shortlist. This is due to be announced on Thursday 21 September, with each shortlisted author receiving a £2,500 prize and a special bound edition of their book.

The overall winner is due to be revealed on Sunday 26 November during a ceremony at London's Old Billingsgate. The winner will receive a £50,000 prize on top of the £2,500 they are given for making the short list, and they also receive a trophy designed by Jan Pieńkowski.

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