The longlist of nominees for the 2020 Brooker Prize has been revealed, and features a nod for two-time winner Hilary Mantel alongside a Glaswegian who grew up in a house without any books.
Mantel has been nominated for The Mirror & The Light, the third book in the author's Cromwell trilogy, which was selected for its "masterful exhibition of sly dialogue and exquisite description"; she has previously won the prize twice for the trilogy's first two novels.
The longlist will be whittled down from 13 to a shortlist of six in September and includes eight debut novels.
British nominees this year include Gabriel Krauze, Douglas Stuart and Sophie Ward.
Glasgow's Stuart has made the longlist with Shuggie Bain, a story about a young boy living with an alcoholic mother in working class Glasgow in 1981.
Stuart has lived in New York for the last 20 years, and took more than a decade to “secretly” write the book in his spare time while he was working as a fashion designer.
The book - described by his publisher as “a blistering debut by a brilliant writer with a powerful and important story to tell" and due to be released in the UK next month - is set against the backdrop of rising unemployment and poverty in Glasgow during the early years of Margaret Thatcher’s Government.
The Booker Prize judges said of Stuart's debut: "We were bowled-over by this first novel, which creates an amazingly intimate, compassionate, gripping portrait of addiction, courage and love.
"A desperately sad, almost-hopeful examination of family and the destructive powers of desire."
In a New Yorker interview earlier this year, Stuart, said: "It’s very Scottish to be direct about difficult things, so there’s no point in pretending [Glasgow] wasn’t a hard place to live.
“I have a complicated relationship with my home town – but there’s no place I love more. I hope Shuggie Bain is a love story to Glasgow, not a fawning love story, but one that sees the city clearly."
The 2020 Booker Prize longlist in full:
- Diane Cook - The New Wilderness
- Tsitsi Dangarembga - This Mournable Body
- Avni Doshi - Burnt Suga
- Gabriel Krauze - Who They Was
- Hilary Mantel - The Mirror & The Light
- Colum McCann - Apeirogon
- Maaza Mengiste - The Shadow King
- Kiley Reid - Such a Fun Age
- Brandon Taylor - Real Life
- Anne Tyler - Redhead by The Side of The Road
- Douglas Stuart - Shuggie Bain
- Sophie Ward - Love and Other Thought Experiments
- C Pam Zhang - How Much of These Hills is Gold
Who won the prize last year?
2019's Booker Prize was notable for having two winners for only the third time in the award's history.
British novelist Bernardine Evaristo became the first black woman to win the prize since it began in 1969, but shared the £50,000 prize pot with Canadian author Margaret Atwood, who won for The Testaments, a sequel to her 1985 novel The Handmaid’s Tale.
Evaristo, 60, won the prize with her eighth novel, Girl, Woman, Other, which follows the lives and struggles of 12 different characters, who are mostly women, black and British.