The Booker Prize promotes the finest in fiction
by rewarding the very best book of the year. The £50,000 prize is
the world's most important literary award and has the power to
transform the fortunes of authors and publishers.
For an interesting article about Scottish authors and books that
made the Booker shortlist, see the National Library of Scotland website.
THE BOOKER PRIZE 2020
The 2020 Booker Prize shortlist includes The Shadow King by Maaza Mengiste,
published by our member Canongate Books. For the full list,
see the Booker Prize website. The 2020 winner will be
announced in November.
James Kelman is the only Scot to have won the
Booker Prize. How Late it Was, How Late (first published
by Secker & Warburg) won in 1994.
Others who have been listed are:
- Muriel Spark shortlisted for The Public
Image (Macmillan) in 1969; The Driver's Seat
(Penguin) in 1970; and Loitering with Intent (Bodley Head)
- Gordon Williams shortlisted for
From Scenes Like These (Secker &
Warburg) in 1969.
- William Boyd (who regards himself as a Scottish writer) was shortlisted for An
Ice-Cream War in 1982; and longlisted for Any Human
Heart in 2002 (both published by Hamish Hamilton)
- James Kelman shortlisted for
Disaffection (Secker & Warburg) in 1989 and won
for How Late it Was, How Late (Secker & Warburg)
- George Mackay Brown shortlisted for Beside
The Ocean of Time (John Murray) in 1996
- Shena Mackay shortlisted for The Orchard
on Fire (Heinemann) in 1996
- Andrew O'Hagan shortlisted for Our
Fathers in 1999 and longlisted for The Illuminations
in 2015 (both Faber & Faber)
- Ali Smith shortlisted for Hotel World
in 2001; The Accidental in 2005; How to Be Both
in 2014 and Autumn in 2017 (all published by Hamish
- A L Kennedy longlisted for Serious
Sweet (Jonathan Cape) in 2016
- Graeme Macrae Burnet shortlisted for His Bloody Project (Contraband) in
- Robin Robertson shortlisted for The Long Take (Picador) in 2018
- Douglas Stuart shortlisted for Shuggie Bain (Picador) in 2020
SCOTTISH PUBLISHERS WITH BOOKS ON THE LISTS
A book published in the UK by Edinburgh-based Canongate Books won
in 2002. Life of Pi by Yann Martel (first published in
Canada) is to date the biggest-selling Booker winner. It was also
made into an Oscar-winning film. Other books published by Canongate
have been shortlisted:
- The Secret River by Kate Grenville (2006)
- Carry Me Down by MJ Hyland (2006)
- The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng (2012)
(which won the Walter Scott Prize for historical fiction 2013)
- The Shadow King by Maaza Mengiste (2020).
- Jamrach's Menagerie by Carol Birch (2011)
- A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki (2013)
- Solar Bones by Mike McCormack (2017)
- Night Boat to Tangier by Kevin Barry
Contraband (an imprint of Saraband)
His Bloody Project by Graeme Macrae
Burnet was on the 2016 shortlist.
Under the Frog by Tibor Fischer was shortlisted in 1993.
The Edinburgh-based publisher was then an imprint of Edinburgh
University Press but is now an imprint of Birlinn.
This small Inverness-based publisher has had two books
- The Testament of Jessie Lamb by Jane Rogers in 2011,
- The Marrying of Chani Kaufman by Eve Harris in
In 2019 a book published by Sandstone Press won the Man
Booker International Prize 2019: Celestial Bodies by Jokha Alharthi,
translated by Marilyn Booth from Arabic.
The Salamander Press
This Edinburgh publishing house (1981-1993) published Flying
to Nowhere by John Fuller which was shortlisted in 1983.
NOTE: If you know of any Scottish writers or
publishers we've missed, please email us with the details