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Booker Prize Longlist

Who will follow in the footsteps of Kingsley Amis, Margaret Atwood, and Peter Carey, and be this year's Booker winner? Check out the longlist - which includes six first-time authors - and tell us your pick in our poll.

Also, check out the list of past winners.


Purple HibiscusPurple Hibiscus
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

In the city of Enugu, Nigeria, fifteen-year-old Kambili and her older brother, Jaja, lead a privileged life. When Kambili's loving and outspoken Aunty Ifeoma persuades her brother that the children should visit her in Nsukka, Kambili and Jaja take their first trip away from home. Once inside their Aunty Ifeoma's flat, they discover a whole new world. When a military coup threatens to destroy the country and Kambili and Jaja return home changed by their newfound freedom, tension within the family escalates. And Kambili must find the strength to keep her loved ones together after her mother commits a desperate act.

From: £6.90


Maps For Lost Lovers
Nadeem Aslam

In an unnamed town in England, Jugnu and Chanda have disappeared - and Chanda's brothers have been arrested for their murder. What follows is an unravelling of all that is sacred to the family, as the pious Kaukab tries desperately to square the traditional justice of her culture with the more personal consequences of their murder.

From: £10.36


Clear: A Transparent Novel
Nicola Barker

[Not yet published]


The Island Walkers
John Bemrose

"Across a bend of Ontario's Attawan River lies the Island, a small, working-class neighborhood of whitewashed houses and vine-freighted fences, black willows and decaying sheds. Here, for generations, the Walkers have lived among the other mill workers." The family's troubles begin in the summer of 1965, when a union organizer comes to town and Alf Walker is forced to choose between loyalty to his friends at the mill and advancement up the company ranks.

From: £5.18


Havoc, in its Third YearHavoc, In Its Third Year
Ronan Bennett

From the bestselling, Whitbread-shortlisted author of The Catastrophist, a dark historical thriller akin to The Name of the Rose; murder, politics of religion and mob rule stalk England in this extraordinary new novel.

From: £6.90


Jonathan Strange and Mr NorrellJonathan Strange and Mr Norrell
Susanna Clarke

English magicians were once the wonder of the known world, with fairy servants at their beck and call; they could command winds, mountains, and woods. But by the early 1800s they have long since lost the ability to perform magic. They can only write long, dull papers about it, while fairy servants are nothing but a fading memory. But at Hurtfew Abbey in Yorkshire, the rich, reclusive Mr Norrell has assembled a wonderful library of lost and forgotten books from England's magical past and regained some of the powers of England's magicians.

From: £12.76


Always the Sun
Neil Cross

What do you do when your son is bullied? How far will you go to protect him from those who seek to cause him harm? Jamie is thirteen years old, an only child. His mother has recently died. He and his father Sam have moved to Sam's home town. A fresh start. An aunt to lend support. A new job for Sam, a new school for Jamie. But one day Jamie comes home, bearing the scars of every parent's nightmare. Something must be done... So it begins.

From: £9.25


Bitter FruitBitter Fruit
Achmat Dangor

This novel provides insight into the intricacies of a changing South Africa at the end of the 1990s. Silas Ali, a former political activist, now a middle-aged civil servant working on the final Truth and Reconciliation Commission report, is shopping in the Killarney Mall in Johannesburg when he bumps into a ghost from his past-Lieutenant François du Boise, a retired security policeman. This chance encounter brings back a memory that Silas and his wife Lydia have been avoiding for 20 years.

From: £9.83


Becoming Strangers
Louise Dean

Jan has been dying for six years, bringing his unhappy marriage with Annemieke to an end in middle age. Their sons have given them one last gift, a holiday in the Caribbean. Dorothy and George have also been given a holiday, by their granddaughter - their first and probably last trip overseas. In the rain of Bexhill-on-Sea, two weeks at a beach resort seems irresistible. Alone together, in perfect surroundings, they are unable to escape their troubles, until a few chance events - a disappearance, an assault and a man called Bill Moloney - allow them to make something out of the ashes of their love.

From: £12.20


A Blade of GrassA Blade of Grass
Lewis Desoto

Set on the border between South Africa and an unnamed neighboring country in the 1970s, A Blade of Grass is a novel about a bitter struggle over a small farm and its dramatic consequences for two women, one white and one black.

From: £1.00


The Electric Michelangelo
Sarah Hall

Beginning as a humble apprentice in Morecambe Bay, Cy flees to America, where he sets up his own tattoo business on the infamous Coney Island boardwalk. In this carnival environment of roller-coasters and freak shows, Cy becomes enamoured with Grace, a mysterious circus performer.

From: £9.76



Cooking With Fernet Branca
James Hamilton-Paterson

Gerald Samper, an effete Englishman and ghostwriter for celebrities, lives on a hilltop in Tuscany. His idyll is shattered by the arrival of Marta, a vulgar woman from the Soviet Republic. The neighbours' lives disastrously intertwine as the English obsession with Tuscany is satirized.

From: £10.50


The HoneymoonThe Honeymoon
Justin Haythe

"The first time that Gordon meets Annie they make love in a park. Soon afterwards, on the forty-fourth anniversary of D-Day, they are married. Gordon, though American-born, has never had a home; instead, he led the life of barren privilege, travelling through the capitals of Europe with his mother." Over the course of a year in London, Gordon and Annie construct an idea of married life for themselves, until their long-delayed honeymoon finally takes them to Venice. But once there, the city's brilliance seems to distort rather than illuminate, and the story gathers an almost unbearable intensity before - in a single act of absurd but devastating violence - their bubble is pricked and the emptiness at the core of their gilded lives revealed.

From: £6.33


The Great FireThe Great Fire
Shirley Hazzard

The year is 1947. The great fire of the Second World War has convulsed Europe and Asia. In its wake, Aldred Leith, an acclaimed hero of the conflict, has spent two years in China at work on an account of world-transforming change there. Son of a famed and sexually ruthless novelist, Leith begins to resist his own self-sufficiency, nurtured by war. Peter Exley, another veteran and an art historian by training, is prosecuting war crimes committed by the Japanese. Both men have narrowly escaped death in battle, and Leith saved Exley's life. The men have maintained long-distance friendship in a postwar loneliness that haunts them both, and which has swallowed Exley whole. Now in their thirties, with their youth behind them and their world in ruins, both must invent the future and retrieve a private humanity.

From: £4.60


The Line of Beauty
Alan Hollinghurst

In the summer of 1983, twenty-year-old Nick Guest moves into an attic room in the Notting Hill home of the Feddens: conservative Member of Parliament Gerald, his wealthy wife Rachel, and their two children, Toby-whom Nick had idolized at Oxford-and Catherine, highly critical of her family's assumptions and ambitions. As the boom years of the eighties unfold, Nick, an innocent in the world of politics and money, finds his life altered by the rising fortunes of this glamorous family.

From: £8.98


Sixty Lights
Gail Jones

In 1860 Lucy Strange and her brother Thomas are orphaned, and so begins Lucy's adolescent journey of discovery. It will take her away from her childhood home in Australia to London and Bombay and, finally, to her death, at the age of 22.

From: £16.00


Cloud AtlasCloud Atlas
David Mitchell

A reluctant voyager crossing the Pacific in 1850; a disinherited composer blagging a precarious livelihood in between-the-wars Belgium; a high-minded journalist in Governor Reagan's California; a vanity publisher fleeing his gangland creditors; a genetically modified "dinery server" on death-row; and Zachry, a young Pacific Islander witnessing the nightfall of science and civilisation -- the narrators of Cloud Atlas hear each other's echoes down the corridor of history, and their destinies are changed in ways great and small.

From: £5.15


The Unnumbered
Sam North

The setting is present day London; a familiar scene you may think, but the people who inhabit this London are not the office workers, the shoppers, who form the lifeblood of the city, but those who move around its edges, the dispossessed, who live quite a different existence, under the tunnels and the waste grounds that the rest of us hurry by. Some are refugees, some are escaping from the blanket of domesticity; some have fallen through violence. They all try to survive.

From: £11.66


Nicholas Shakespeare

A young Englishman visits Cold War Leipzig with a group of students and, during his brief excursion behind the Iron Curtain, falls for an East German girl who is only just beginning to wake up to the way her society is governed. Her situation touches him, but he is too frightened to help. He spends the next 19 years pretending to himself that he is not in love until one day, with Germany now united, he decides to go back and look for her.

From: £12.75


Matt Thorne

Who or what is Cherry? Steve Ellis doesn't know and he's beginning not to care. All he knows is that as soon as his perfect woman came into his life all the flatness and misery went away. But happiness comes with a price. When you meet a man in a bar and he arranges for you to fall in love there's bound to be some strings attached. Steve might be suspicious about playing along with the game, but he's convinced he can handle it, a belief that may well lead to his downfall ...


The MasterThe Master
Colm Toibin

Like Michael Cunningham in The Hours, Colm Tóibín captures the extraordinary mind and heart of a great writer. Brilliant and profoundly moving, The Master tells the story of Henry James, a man born into one of America's first intellectual families two decades before the Civil War. James left his country to live in Paris, Rome, Venice, and London among privileged artists and writers.

From: £9.44


I'll Go To Bed at Noon
Gerard Woodward

Britain's answer to The Corrections - Woodward's dysfunctional family lurches from tragedy to farce and back again in this stunning second novel from Whitbread short-listed novelist and award-winning poet Gerard Woodward.

From: £8.00