Ululuululuuu! Luluuuuluuuu! Tsitsi Dangarembga is on the Booker Prize shortlist!

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Yup! That’s true! She’s right there on the list announced on September 15 for her latest novel, This Mournable Body! Congratulations Tsitsi!!!

What a journey is had been for this book. The time it took to write it. The fact that the week Tsitsi was announced on the longlist, she was arrested for protesting in support of Hopewell Chin’ono.

I reviewed This Mournable Body for The Chicago Tribune in 2018.


Book review of This Mournable Body on The Chicago Tribune website


LINKS

ALSO INTERESTING

Susan Dangarembga, Tsitsi’s mother enrolled at Fort Hare and graduated in 1953 with a Bachelor of Arts in English and Latin.  She was Zimbabwe’s (As the time, Southern Rhodesia’s) first black female graduate  according to this tweet from Veritas Women and  shared by Tsitsi.

Susan Dangarembga

PRESS RELEASES

July 28, 2020
Booker Prize Longlist Announced 

See original

The longlist, or ‘The Booker Dozen’, for The 2020 Booker Prize is announced today, Tuesday 28 July 2020.

This year’s longlist of 13 books was selected by a panel of five judges: Margaret Busby (chair), editor, literary critic and former publisher; Lee Child, author; Sameer Rahim, author and critic; Lemn Sissay, writer and broadcaster; and Emily Wilson, classicist and translator.

The list was chosen from 162 novels published in the UK or Ireland between 1 October 2019 and 30 September 2020.

The Booker Prize for Fiction is open to writers of any nationality, writing in English and published in the UK or Ireland.

The 2020 longlist, or ‘The Booker Dozen’, of 13 novels, is:

Author (country/territory)            Title (imprint)

Diane Cook (USA)                           The New Wilderness (Oneworld Publications)

Tsitsi Dangarembga (Zimbabwe) This Mournable Body (Faber & Faber)

Avni Doshi (USA)                             Burnt Sugar (Hamish Hamilton, Penguin Random House)

Gabriel Krauze (UK)                        Who They Was (4th Estate, HarperCollins)

Hilary Mantel (UK)                          The Mirror & The Light (4th Estate, HarperCollins)

Colum McCann (Ireland/USA)     Apeirogon (Bloomsbury Publishing)

Maaza Mengiste (Ethiopia/USA) The Shadow King (Canongate Books)

Kiley Reid (USA)                              Such a Fun Age (Bloomsbury Circus, Bloomsbury Publishing)

Douglas Stuart (Scotland/USA)  Shuggie Bain (Picador, Pan Macmillan)

Brandon Taylor (USA)                    Real Life (Originals, Daunt Books Publishing)

Anne Tyler (USA)                            Redhead by The Side of The Road (Chatto & Windus, Vintage)

Sophie Ward (UK)                           Love and Other Thought Experiments (Corsair, Little, Brown)

C Pam Zhang (USA)                       How Much of These Hills is Gold (Virago, Little, Brown)

 

Margaret Busby, Chair of the 2020 judges, says:

“Each of these books carries an impact that has earned it a place on the longlist, deserving of wide readership. Included are novels carried by the sweep of history with memorable characters brought to life and given visibility, novels that represent a moment of cultural change, or the pressures an individual faces in pre- and post-dystopian society. Some of the books focus on interpersonal relationships that are complex, nuanced, emotionally charged. There are voices from minorities often unheard, stories that are fresh, bold and absorbing. The best fiction enables the reader to relate to other people’s lives; sharing experiences that we could not ourselves have imagined is as powerful as being able to identify with characters.

As judges we connected with these writers’ well-crafted prose, the mastery of detail, the arresting sentence, the credibility of the narrative arc, the ability to use to the full, the resources of storytelling. Unplanned, our final selection encompasses both seasoned favourites and debut talents ― a truly satisfying outcome.”

Gaby Wood, Literary Director of the Booker Prize Foundation, adds:

“When the judges had drawn up their longlist of 13 books, one of them said: ‘Out of interest, how many debuts are there?’ We counted. It was more than half the list. That’s an unusually high proportion, and especially surprising to the judges themselves, who had admired many books by more established authors, and regretted having to let them go. It is perhaps obvious that powerful stories can come from unexpected places and in unfamiliar forms; nevertheless, this kaleidoscopic list serves as a reminder.

In this year of seismic change, visibility for new books published in the UK has been drastically low. So, however unintended the ratio, it’s especially heartening to know that some authors who have launched their careers in the midst of Covid-19 may now have a chance to reach the readers they deserve.”

The shortlist of six books will be announced on Tuesday 15 September. 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.

The 2019 Booker Prize for Fiction was won jointly by The Testaments by Margaret Atwood and Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo. In the week following the announcement, sales of The Testaments rose from 11,955 to 13,400 copies while Girl, Woman, Other sold 5,980 copies, more than double its lifetime sales up to that point and a 1,340% increase week on week. Girl, Woman, Other has now spent 25 weeks in The Sunday Times Top Ten in hardback and paperback, several at number one and its combined sales in all editions and formats are heading towards half a million. The book will be published in 32 territories internationally and TV rights have been optioned by Potboiler. After its Booker win it was shortlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction and won the best fiction book at the 2020 British Book Awards, while Evaristo picked up Author of the Year.

 

September 15, 2020
Booker Prize Shortlist Announced

See original

We are delighted that Diane Cook, Tsitsi Dangarembga, Avni Doshi, Maaza Mengiste, Douglas Stuart and Brandon Taylor are today, Tuesday 15 September, announced as the six authors shortlisted for the 2020 Booker Prize for Fiction.

The shortlist was revealed at lunchtime by the 2020 Chair of Judges Margaret Busby during a virtual press conference. It will be celebrated this evening in a Shortlist Watch Party for readers around the world on The Booker Prizes’ Facebook and YouTube channels at 5pm BST.

The shortlist was selected from 162 submitted books. Readers of the six chosen books will explore the tender story of a mother’s battle to save her daughter in a dystopian city made inhospitable by the climate crisis; witness a woman confronting the realities of life and morality in Zimbabwe as she descends into poverty; travel to India to unpick an unsettling mother-daughter relationship redefined by dementia; uncover the extraordinary tales of the African women who went to war during Italy’s 1935 invasion of Ethiopia; find humanity and humour in the harsh realities experienced by a marginalised family in 1980s Glasgow; and question what ‘real life’ is in a fresh take on the campus novel, which offers a nuanced account of racism and homophobia.

The 2020 Booker Prize for Fiction is open to writers of any nationality, writing in English and published in the UK or Ireland between 1 October 2019 and 30 September 2020.

The 2020 shortlist is:

Diane Cook (USA), The New Wilderness (Oneworld Publications)

Tsitsi Dangarembga (Zimbabwe), This Mournable Body (Faber & Faber)

Avni Doshi (USA), Burnt Sugar (Hamish Hamilton, Penguin Random House)

Maaza Mengiste (Ethiopia/USA), The Shadow King (Canongate Books)

Douglas Stuart (Scotland/USA), Shuggie Bain (Picador, Pan Macmillan)

Brandon Taylor (USA), Real Life (Originals, Daunt Books Publishing)

The shortlist was selected by a panel of five judges: Margaret Busby (chair), editor, literary critic and former publisher; Lee Child, author; Sameer Rahim, author and critic; Lemn Sissay, writer and broadcaster; and Emily Wilson, classicist and translator.

Margaret Busby, Chair of the 2020 judges, says:

‘As judges we read 162 books, many of them conveying important, sometimes uncannily similar and prescient messages. The best novels often prepare our societies for valuable conversations, and not just about the inequities and dilemmas of the world − whether in connection with climate change, forgotten communities, old age, racism, or revolution when necessary − but also about how magnificent the interior life of the mind, imagination and spirit is, in spite of circumstance. The shortlist of six came together unexpectedly, voices and characters resonating with us all even when very different. We are delighted to help disseminate these chronicles of creative humanity to a global audience.

‘The novels on this year’s shortlist range in setting from an unusual child growing up in working-class Glasgow in the 1980s, to a woman coping with a post-colonial nightmare in Zimbabwe. Along the way we meet a man struggling with racism on a university campus, join a trek in the wilderness after an environmental disaster, eavesdrop on a woman coping with her ageing mother as they travel across India and in an exploration of female power discover how ordinary people rose up in 1930s Ethiopia to defend their country against invading Italians. It’s a wondrous and enriching variety of stories, and hugely exciting as well.’

Gaby Wood, Literary Director of the Booker Prize Foundation, adds:

‘Every year, judging the Booker Prize is an act of discovery. What’s out there, how can we widen the net, how do these books seem when compared to one another, how do they fare when re-read? These are questions judges always ask themselves, and each other.

‘This year there has perhaps been more discovery than usual, both in the sense that debut novels are in the majority, and due to the fact that the judges themselves were surprised to find that was the case. Why were they surprised? They were focussing on the books. No one wins the Booker Prize because of who they are. A book wins because of what it does. What has transpired is a testament to the judges’ faith in – among other things – first fictions: they have found these writers to have much to say, and found them to have said it in a way that became even richer on a second reading.’

The 2020 winner will be announced on Tuesday 17 November in an event broadcast from London’s Roundhouse in collaboration with BBC Arts. The ceremony has been re-imagined, transposing the traditional dinner at the Guildhall to a globally accessible ceremony without walls. In light of the pandemic, the newly formatted event aims to creatively engage readers across the world with the shortlisted books, authors and the overall winner. It will be a multi-platform offering, including a one-off BBC Two programme in the run-up, a Live Page on BBC Arts, coverage on BBC News in the UK and BBC World News on BBC World News and the live announcement of the winner on BBC Radio 4’s Front Row.

In the meantime, BBC Radio 4’s Front Row is running its successful Booker Prize Book Group for a second year with each of the six shortlisted books and authors. There will also be a series of digital public events featuring the authors, including a Guardian Live event on Wednesday 11 November and a regional event on Friday 13 November held in partnership with Doncaster Creates.

The winner will take part in their first digital event in partnership with Southbank Centre on Saturday 21 November as part of its ‘Inside Out’ series. More information about the events programme will be announced soon.

The shortlisted authors each receive £2,500 and a specially bound edition of their book. The winner will receive a further £50,000 and can expect instant international recognition.

The 2019 Booker Prize for Fiction was won jointly by The Testaments by Margaret Atwood and Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo.

 

Next Fungai Mettler – Telling Raw Stories

About Life Notes

Life Notes is my online notebook; a place to put my digital ‘newspaper’ clippings, bits of my journal, observations, and other stuff all with the ultimate aim of find tools, resources & ideas to help artists thrive.  Read about how it came about here.

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