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18 January 2021

Booker Prize 2020 shortlist

15 September 2020

The shortlist for the 2020 Booker Prize was announced on Tuesday 15 September 2020. Huge congratulations in particular to Glaswegian Douglas Stuart for Shuggie Bain published by Picador and to Maaza Mengiste for The Shadow King  published by Canongate Books based in Edinburgh.

The Booker Prize for Fiction is open to writers of any nationality, writing in English and published in the UK or Ireland.

The 2020 shortlist is:

  • Diane Cook (USA) - The New Wilderness (Oneworld Publications)
  • Tsitsi Dangarembga (Zimbabwe) - This Mournable Body (Faber & Faber)
  • Avni Doshi (USA) - Burnt Sugar  (Hamish Hamilton, Penguin Random House)
  • Maaza Mengiste (Ethiopia/USA) - The Shadow King (Canongate Books)
  • Brandon Taylor (USA) - Real Life (Originals, Daunt Books Publishing)      
  • Douglas Stuart (Scotland/USA) - Shuggie Bain (Picador, Pan Macmillan)

The 2020 winner will be announced on Thursday 19 November in an event broadcast from London's Roundhouse in collaboration with BBC Arts. The ceremony has been re-imagined, transposing the traditional dinner at the Guildhall to a globally accessible ceremony without walls. In light of the pandemic, the newly formatted event aims to creatively engage readers across the world with the shortlisted books, authors and the overall winner. It will be a multi-platform offering, including a one-off BBC Two programme in the run-up, a Live Page on BBC Arts, coverage on BBC World News, the live announcement of the winner on BBC Radio 4's Front Row and the winner interview on BBC News at Ten.

The winner of the 2020 Booker Prize receives £50,000 and can expect international recognition. The shortlisted authors each receive £2,500 and a specially bound edition of their book.

For comments on the shortlist, see Sameer Rahim in The Guardian 15 September 2020 and Rebecca Jones on the BBC website 15 September 2020.


For a round up of Scottish writers and publishers on the Booker lists over the years, see our Booker Prize page.