The 2021 International Booker Prize Shortlist Announced

The shortlisted books in a stack

Just announced, the six books in the running for the 2021 International Booker Prize, which celebrates the finest fiction from around the world, translated into English

Revolutionary in form, in content and in point of view, the books on this year’s shortlist are all urgent, energetic and wildly original works of literature.

The stories told include: terrifying tales of unruly teenagers, crooked witches, homeless ghosts, and hungry women set in contemporary Argentina; the historical account of two Senegalese soldiers fighting for France during the first world war; the lives of the crew working on the Six-Thousand Ship in the 22nd century; stories of the defining moments from the history of science; the exploration of cultural and personal memory, using the author’s Jewish family in Russia as the basis; and a tale of rebellion against power and privilege set during the Protestant Reformation in 16th-century Germany.

The 2021 shortlist in full:

Booker shortlist

Lucy Hughes-Hallett, chair of the judges, says,

To arrive at this list we had – regretfully – to eliminate numerous books we enjoyed and admired. These six, though, seemed to us outstanding. Their differences demonstrate how vital the art of fiction is worldwide. What they have in common is their beauty, their originality and their power to grip the reader and excite new thoughts.

The 2021 International Booker Prize winner will be announced on June 2 2021, in an online ceremony from Coventry UK City of Culture 2021.

The shortlisted and winning authors and translators will take part in a number of public events before and after the winner announcement. These include:

Allison Hay

I joined the My Weekly team ten years ago, and I love the variety of topics we cover both online and in the magazine. I manage the digital content for the brand, sharing features and information on the website, social media and in our digital newsletters. I also work for Your Best Ever Christmas - perfect as it's my favourite time of year!