New Delhi: Indian-origin author Avni Doshi’s debut novel Burnt Sugar – released in India as Girl in White Cotton – has been longlisted for the 2020 Booker prize. The book is about a young woman, Antara, coming to terms with her mother Tara’s memory loss, and trying to make sense of their shared past.
Antara and Tara have a difficult relationship and Antara hasn’t always been able to understand her mother’s decisions. But a look at their history brings to light that they may not be entirely different, after all. “This is a love story and it is a story about betrayal. But not between lovers – between mother and daughter,” the Booker nomination says.
There are a total of 13 books on the Booker longlist. The conclusion of Hilary Mantel’s Thomas Cromwell trilogy – The Mirror and the Light – is on the list, and both the other books in the series – Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies – won Mantel the Booker in the past.
Here’s a full list of the books that made it to the 2020 Booker longlist:
1. Love and Other Thought Experiments by Sophie Ward, described on the Booker website as “a story of love lost and found across the universe”.
2. The Shadow King by Maaza Mengiste, set in 1953 Ethiopia. The book “is a captivating exploration of female power, and what it means to be a woman at war”.
3. Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart, a debut novel about a family in 1981 Glasgow torn apart by poverty and pride, is “an exploration of the unsinkable love that only children can have for their damaged parents”.
4. Burnt Sugar by Avni Doshi, ” a love story and…a story about betrayal”.
5. Who They Was by Gabriel Krauze, a “first-hand account of a young man who has lived a life of violent crime, and who expresses it boldly, accurately, and at times even beautifully”.
6. The Mirror and the Light by Hillary Mantel, “a triumphant close the [Thomas Cromwell] trilogy”.
7. This Mournable Body by Tsitsi Dangarembga, a book that “channels the hope and potential of one young girl and a fledgling nation to lead us on a journey to discover where lives go after hope has departed”.
8. Real Life by Brandon Taylor is about Wallace, a young biochemist, and “the emotional cost of reckoning with desire, and overcoming pain”.
9. Apeirogon by Colum McCann focuses on two best friends – one Israeli and the other Palestinian. The book “crosses centuries and continents, stitching time, art, history, nature and politics into a tapestry of friendship, love, loss and belonging”.
10. Such A Fun Age by Kiley Reid “explores the awkwardness of transactional relationships, what it means to make someone ‘family’, the complicated reality of being a grown-up and the consequences of doing the right thing for the wrong reason”.
11. Redhead by The Side of The Road by Anne Tyler “is an intimate look into the heart and mind of a man who sometimes finds those around him just out of reach – and a love story about the differences that make us all unique”.
12. How Much of These Hills is Gold by C. Pam Zhang “tells an untold story of the arrival of Chinese-American immigrants to the US during the Gold Rush”, through the story of two siblings.
13. The New Wilderness by Diane Cook is a “daring, passionate and terrifying novel about a mother’s battle to save her daughter in a world ravaged by climate change”.