The final shortlist of six novels has been revealed for this year's Booker Prize. As always, the lucky winners will be the readers.

The final six includes debut novelist Patricia Lockwood with No One Is Talking About This. Damon Galgut makes the list for the third time with The Promise, and Richard Powers makes his second shortlist appearance with Bewilderment. Also making the list are Anuk Arudpragasam for A Passage North, Nadifa Mohamed with The Fortune Men and Maggie Shipstead with Great Circle.

The judges will reveal the winning book during a prize ceremony at the BBC Radio Theatre on November 3rd. 

The 2021 shortlist

The Promise
A Passage North
The Fortune Men
Great Circle

With so many ambitious and intelligent books before us, the judges engaged in rich discussions not only about the qualities of any given title, but often about the purpose of fiction itself. We are pleased to present a shortlist that delivers as wide a range of original stories as it does voices and styles.

Gaby Wood, director of the Booker Prize Foundation

‘This year, over the course of nine largely solitary months, five strangers of disparate backgrounds showed each other what they saw in stories—what dazzled them or challenged them, what touched them or left them unmoved. In the process they showed something of themselves, and came to trust each other as a result.

‘They also proved that the best literature is elastic: both because so many different things can be seen in it, and because—as one of the judges said—the best of fiction can make you feel as though your mind, or heart, are a little bit larger for having read it. 

‘In congratulating the shortlistees, it’s worth remembering how true this remains of the 2021 longlist, all of which will continue to be celebrated at, the new home of the prizes and the half-century-old Booker Library.’

Gaby Wood

Countdown to the ceremony

The 2021 winner will be announced on Wednesday 3 November in an award ceremony held in partnership with the BBC at Broadcasting House’s Radio Theatre.

It will be broadcast live on BBC Radio 4’s Front Row, BBC iPlayer, and BBC News Channel. The winner of the 2021 Booker Prize receives £50,000 and can expect international recognition.

In the meantime, BBC Radio 4’s Front Row is running its successful Booker Prize Book Groups for a third year with each of the six shortlisted books and authors.

Readers who are interested in applying to join the Front Row’s Booker Prize Book Groups should email [email protected].

BBC Broadcasting House

Special Prizes

Why have just one Booker Prize when you can have several? Discover the unique stories behind the Booker one-off’s, from the Golden Booker to the Best of Beryl.

Browse all the special prizes.

The Best of the Booker trophy