The Booker Prize 2022

The 2022 shortlist has been announced, including the shortest book and oldest author ever to be nominated, writers from five countries and a wealth of truly fabulous fiction

2022 Booker Prize shortlisted novels

The Booker Prize 2022 shortlist has been announced!

The shortlist includes the shortest book and oldest author ever to be nominated, three second novels, authors from five countries and four continents, three independent publishers and several titles inspired by real events.

The winner will be announced at the Roundhouse in London on October 17.

 

Highlights from this year's shortlist

  • The six books are ‘set in different places at different times [and] are all about events that in some measure happen everywhere, and concern us all’, according to Chair of judges Neil MacGregor
     
  • The six authors represent five different nationalities and four continents, with an equal split of men and women on the list
     
  • The majority of the shortlist is inspired by real events, from the Sri Lankan civil war and the fall of Robert Mugabe to Ireland’s Magdalene laundries scandal and the murder of Emmett Till in the US
     
  • It features the oldest author ever to be shortlisted: Alan Garner will celebrate his 88th birthday on the night of the winner ceremony 
     
  • At 116 pages, Claire Keegan’s Small Things Like These is the shortest book recognised in the prize’s history – although Alan Garner’s Treacle Walker contains fewer words
     
  • Half of the list is published by independent publishers, including first time appearances from Influx Press and Sort of Books

2022 Booker Prize shortlisted authors

The Shortlist

Glory by NoViolet Bulawayo
Small Things Like These by Claire Keegan
Treacle Walker by Alan Garner
The Trees by Percival Everett
Oh William! by Elizabeth Strout

The Longlist

The 2022 judges

The 2022 shortlist in numbers

87

The age of author Alan Garner, shortlisted for his book Treacle Walker

116

The number of pages of Claire Keegan’s Small Things Like These, the shortest book ever nominated in the prize’s history

3

The number of second novels on the shortlist - Glory, Small Things Like These and The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida

169

The number of books read by the 2022 judges

75

The approximate number of published works the shortlisted authors have written between them

2

The number of publishers appearing for the first time

5

The number of nationalities represented on the shortlist

17

The date in October when the winner of the Booker Prize 2022 will be announced

Set in different places at different times, [the books] are all about events that in some measure happen everywhere, and concern us all.

Neil MacGregor, chair of the Booker Prize 2022 judges said:

‘These six books, we believe, speak powerfully about important things. Set in different places at different times, they are all about events that in some measure happen everywhere, and concern us all. Each written in English, they demonstrate what an abundance of Englishes there are, and how many distinct worlds, real and imaginary, exist in that simple-seeming space, the Anglosphere. 

‘Two — Oh William! and Treacle Walker — are about the inner life, as a young boy and a middle-aged woman, in their particular ways, come to a new understanding of who they are and what they might become. The other four books address long national histories of cruelty and injustice, in Sri Lanka and Ireland, Zimbabwe and the United States, and in each case the enduring historical tensions provide the dilemmas in which the characters, like their societies, are put on the rack.  

‘Why did we choose these six? In every one, the author uses language not only to tell us what happens, but to create a world which we, outsiders, can enter and inhabit — and not merely by using words from local languages or dialects. NoViolet Bulawayo’s incantatory repetitions induct us all into a Zimbabwean community of memory and expectation, just as Alan Garner’s shamanic obliquities conjure a realm that reason alone could never access. Percival Everett and Shehan Karunatilaka spin fantastical verbal webs of Gothic horror — and humour — that could not be further removed from the hypnotic, hallucinatory clarity of Claire Keegan’s and Elizabeth Strout’s pared-down prose. Most important, all affirm the importance and the power of finding and sharing the truth.’  

Neil MacGregor, Chair of the Booker Prize 2022 with the six shortlisted novels

Gaby Wood, director of the Booker Prize Foundation said:

When this year’s Booker Prize judges sat down to decide on their shortlist, every one of the 13 books on their longlist remained in such strong contention that they knew the meeting was likely to last all day. And indeed it did. This was not a day of arguments but of re-readings, re-configurations, relish.

‘The shortlist that eventually emerged shows great geographical breadth as well as linguistic and conceptual agility. Together, these six novels look at history and at the lives of individuals with wit, courage and rage, allowing us to see the world through many sets of supremely perceptive eyes.’

Gaby Wood

The shortlist that eventually emerged shows great geographical breadth as well as linguistic and conceptual agility

— Gaby Wood, director of the Booker Prize Foundation