Literary Prizes

Like many book lovers, I keep an eye on updates from literary prizes. I’m especially fond of the Booker Prize and the Women’s Prize for Fiction. Both are often reliable sources for good contemporary literature to add to your reading list. Some books that have been nominated or won these prizes that have been reviewed here are listed below.

The Booker Prize

I have a special fondness for the Booker because I think it saved contemporary literature for me. Before discovering the prize and the books it has acknowledged, my forays into contemporary lit had been very disappointing and I was beginning to think I should just stick to the classics. I have not always been wowed by their picks but it has certainly been more rewarding than otherwise. Booker Prize nominees and winners I have read and reviewed here are listed below.

1977WinnerStaying OnPaul Scott 
1978WinnerThe Sea, the SeaIris Murdoch 
1981WinnerMidnight’s ChildrenSalman Rushdie
1983ShortlistedShameSalman Rushdie
1985WinnerThe Bone PeopleKeri Hulme
1986ShortlistedThe Handmaid’s TaleMargaret Atwood 
1990WinnerPossessionAS Byatt 
1991ShortlistedSuch A Long JourneyRohinton Mistry 
1996ShortlistedA Fine BalanceRohinton Mistry 
1997WinnerThe God of Small ThingsArundhati Roy 
1998WinnerAmsterdamIan McEwan 
1999ShortlistedFasting, FeastingAnita Desai
2002ShortlistedFamily MattersRohinton Mistry 
2006WinnerThe Inheritance of LossKiran Desai
2007ShortlistedMister PipLloyd Jones 
2007ShortlistedThe Reluctant FundamentalistMohsin Hamid 
2008LonglistedA Case of Exploding MangoesMohammed Hanif 
2008ShortlistedSea of PoppiesAmitav Ghosh 
2008WinnerThe White TigerAravind Adiga 
2009WinnerWolf HallHilary Mantel
2011ShortlistedHalf Blood BluesEsi Edugyan 
2011ShortlistedPigeon EnglishStephen Kelman 
2011ShortlistedThe Sisters BrothersPatrick deWitt 
2011WinnerThe Sense of an EndingJulian Barnes 
2012ShortlistedNarcopolisJeet Thayil 
2012WinnerBring Up the BodiesHilary Mantel
2020LonglistedThe Mirror and the LightHilary Mantel
2022WinnerThe Seven Moons of Maali AlmeidaShehan Karunatilaka

The Women’s Prize for Fiction

The Women’s Prize for Fiction (formerly The Orange Prize, The Bailey’s Prize, etc) are a great source for compelling contemporary literature. The list of books I have read and reviewed here is short but sure to grow as I have many more on my shelves to read.

2000ShortlistedFasting, FeastingAnita Desai
2005WinnerWe Need to Talk About KevinLionel Shriver 
2007ShortlistedThe Inheritance of LossKiran Desai
2009ShortlistedBurnt ShadowsKamila Shamsie 
2010ShortlistedWolf HallHilary Mantel
2012ShortlistedHalf Blood BluesEsi Edugyan 
2013LonglistedThe Light Between OceansML Stedman 
2013ShortlistedBring Up the BodiesHilary Mantel
2014ShortlistedBurial RitesHannah Kent 
2020ShortlistedThe Mirror and the LightHilary Mantel
2021WinnerPiranesiSusanna Clarke
2023ShortlistedDemon CopperheadBarbara Kingsolver