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Booker 2021 Longlist Predictions

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The official longlist for this years Booker Prize is due to be announced on July 27  so in the “readersroom” tradition of recent years we have assembled our shadow panel and put together our own predictions for the longlist.

Jen’s Predictions: I’m coming into this year’s list pretty blind as Covid and life have not been kind to my reading habits. However in past years, even after extensive reading and research, my prediction accuracy has been low even after having selected books I read. This year, while my reading quantity was abysmal, I did spend a fair amount of time researching. So here are my predictions for this year’s longlist.

  1. The Living Sea of Waking Dreams by Richard Flanagan
  2. Lean Fall Stand by Jon McGregor
  3. Open Water by Caleb Azumah Nelson
  4. The Eternal Audience of One by Rémy Ngamije
  5. The Promise by Damon Galgut
  6. Popisho (One Sky Day) by Leone Ross
  7. Highway Blue by Ailsa MacFarlane
  8. Assembly by Natasha Brown
  9. The Magician by Colm Toibin
  10. No One Is Talking About This by Patricia Lockwood
  11. The Prophets by Robert Jones Jr.
  12. Bewilderment by Richard Powers
  13. Detransition, baby by Torrey Peters

Book Worm’s Predictions: This year I am going with new books by big names, books getting a lot of buzz on social media, some books I have read and random qualifying books I would like to read.

  1. Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro
  2. Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi
  3. No One Is Talking About This by Patricia Lockwood
  4. Detransition, Baby by Torrey Peters
  5. The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris
  6. Harlem Shuffle by Colson Whitehead
  7. The Promise by Damon Galgut
  8. We Are All Birds of Uganda by Hafsa Zayyan
  9. The Prophets by Robert Jones Jr.
  10. The Living Sea of Waking Dreams by Richard Flanagan
  11. Assembly by Natasha Brown
  12. How Beautiful We Were by Imbolo Mbue
  13. Nightbitch by Rachel Yoder

Nicole’s Predictions: I’m going somewhat with the strategy of last year and picking some random books off the eligible list. I try to get a jump on booker every year by reading books I think may make the list, and as of this moment I’ve only read 2.5 on my predictions list … (including Klara) and some I have no intention of reading even if they make the list. So there you go.

  1. Open Water – Caleb Azumah Nelson
  2. The Yield – Tara June Winch (this may be more of a hope than a prediction)
  3. Popisho/(This One Sky Day) – Leone Ross
  4. The Actual Whole of Music – Haydn Middleton
  5. The Eternal Audience of One – Rémy Ngamije
  6. Before My Actual Heart Breaks – Tish Delaney
  7. Palmares – Gayl Jones
  8. something by a big name, a brilliant writer, but wrote a book which isn’t necessarily booker worthy (Klara)
  9. something nobody has ever heard of and is on nobody’s list and won’t be published before the shortlist
  10. Detransition, Baby – Torrey Peters
  11. The Listeners – Jordan Tannahill
  12. Dinner Party: A Tragedy – Sarah Gilmartin
  13. Insignificance – James Clammer

Susie’s Predictions:

My list of thirteen is comprised of books that I hope make it (in the case of the ones I have already read), and of the books that I hope are exceptional (in the case of those I have not). I tend to be terrible at Booker predictions, but I would love to see at least a few of these on the longlist. I’m looking forward to reading along with everyone again this year, and I am aiming to read the entire list again. 

  1. Asylum Road by Olivia Sudjic
  2. Panenka by Ronan Hession
  3. Assembly by Natasha Brown
  4. Matrix by Lauren Groff
  5. A Shock by Keith Ridgeway
  6. The Women of Troy by Pat Barker
  7. Sorrow and Bliss by Meg Mason
  8. Beautiful World, Where Are You by Sally Rooney
  9. No One Is Talking About This by Patricia Lockwood
  10. Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishigiro
  11. Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr
  12. Open Water by Caleb Azumah Nelson
  13. Bewilderment by Richard Powers

Anita’s Predictions: 

  1. Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro
  2. Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi
  3. Assembly by Natasha Brown
  4. The Committed by Viet Thanh Nguyen
  5. Open Water by Caleb Azumah Nelson
  6. Panenka by Ronan Hession
  7. Detransition, Baby by Torrey Peters
  8. Insignificance by James Clammer
  9. We Are All Birds of Uganda by Hafsa Zayyan
  10. The Yield by Tara June Winch
  11. China Room by Sunjeeve Sahota
  12. The Promise by Damon Galgut
  13. Harlem Shuffle by Colson Whitehead

Lisa’s Predictions:   

  1. Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro 
  2. Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi 
  3. Popisho by Leone Ross
  4. No one is talking about this by Patricia Lockwood
  5. The Yield by Tara June Winch
  6. Open Water by Caleb Azumah Nelson
  7. Detransition, baby by Torrey Peters
  8. Bewilderment by Richard Powers
  9. We are not in the world by Conor O’Callaghan
  10. Harlem Shuffle by Coleson Whitehead
  11. A shock by Keith Ridgeway
  12. Peaces by Helen Oyeyemi
  13. Interior Chinatown by Charles Yu

Tracy’s Predictions: This year has been a good one for reading, and I hope the long list reflects the good books out there. 

There are some books I want to see here, but refuse to add to the prediction list, since that can sometimes be a jinx. (Looking at you, Assembly)

My predictions:

  1. Klara and the Sun- Ishiguro
  2. The Yield- Winch
  3. Lean Fall Stand- McGregor
  4. Popisho (aka This One Sky Day)- Ross
  5. Unsettled Ground- Fuller
  6. Cloud Cuckoo Land- Doerr
  7. The Performance- Thomas
  8. Mrs. Death Misses Death- Godden
  9. The First Woman (aka A Girl is a Body of Water- Nansubuga Makumbi
  10. The Magician- Toibin
  11. China Room- Sahota
  12. Bolt from the Blue- Cooper
  13. Chronicle from the Land of the Happiest People on Earth- Soyinka

And there you have it. Our panel’s picks. Who do you think will predict the most correctly? Stay tuned for the Longlist announcement on July 27.

9 Comments Post a comment
  1. If Klara & The Sun will be on the longlist or, my gosh, on their shortlist, I think I’ll just lose all respect for the Booker forever. I mean, one cannot be serious? How does that qualify “good literature” now? A parade of predictable sci-fi ideas loosely presented, the re-working of Ishiguro’s previous books, the unbearable, endless dialogues. If that book were from an unknown author, it would never have had the slightest chance to be published. The book was readable, but bad overall. The standard of good literature has fallen, indeed.

    Liked by 1 person

    July 24, 2021
    • I enjoyed it, but I’m with you …. Hoping it’s not there. (as much as I love Ishiguro)

      Liked by 2 people

      July 25, 2021
    • Sorry, did you NOT lose all respect for the Booker after they gave Bernardine Evaristo half an award and gave the other half to the Handmaiden’s Tale, Part II? Surely that was the moment to lose all respect for the Booker Prize. Putitng a top-selling genre tale by a recent Nobel Prize winner seems pretty tame compared to splitting the prize (and giving half to Atwood)

      Liked by 1 person

      July 26, 2021
      • Whether I “lost” all the respect after that spitting of the prize is hardly here nor there since I am talking about this year’s Award. But since you are so “passionate” about the subject, I just have this to say – learn some comment manners first and then vent your anger on some other person and preferably somewhere else.

        Like

        July 27, 2021
  2. pbtanita #

    So our collective list, in order of agreement, is:

    Detransition, Baby
    Klara and the Sun
    Open Water
    Assembly
    No One is Talking About This
    Popisho
    The Yield
    Bewilderment
    Harlem Shuffle
    The Promise

    After that we don’t really have enough consensus . . .

    Liked by 1 person

    July 26, 2021
  3. The only two I sort of got right were my vague predictions (Klara, and An Island which doesn’t have a US pub date, and I didn’t see it on anybody’s list) Tracy got 2, everybody else got 3.

    Liked by 2 people

    July 26, 2021

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  1. The 2021 Booker Longlist | The Reader's Room

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