2023 Booker Prize longlist includes four Irish authors

2023 Booker Prize Longlist Includes Four Irish Authors
Booker Prize 2023 longlist
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By Hannah Roberts, PA Entertainment Reporter

A novel written from the perspective of a neurodivergent protagonist is among the 13 books making up the 2023 Booker Prize longlist.

The prestigious prize recognises pieces of fiction from around the world.


This year a third of the list is comprised of Irish authors – the first time this has happened.

The selection was made from 163 books published between October 1st, 2022 and September 30th, 2023 which were submitted to the Booker Prize Foundation by publishers.

Booker Prize Award 2023 nominees
All The Little Bird Hearts by Viktoria Lloyd-Barlow (Tinder Press/PA)


Viktoria Lloyd-Barlow’s debut novel All The Little Bird-Hearts, which uses the author’s extensive personal experience with autism, is among those on the list.

Esi Edugyan, chair of the 2023 judges, said this year’s list “is defined by its freshness, by the irreverence of new voices, by the iconoclasm of established ones”.

“All 13 novels cast new light on what it means to exist in our time, and they do so in original and thrilling ways,” she said.

“Their range is vast, both in subject and form: they shocked us, made us laugh, filled us with anguish, but above all they stayed with us.


“This is a list to excite, challenge, delight, a list to bring wonder.

“The novels are small revolutions, each seeking to energise and awaken the language. Together – whether historical or contemporary – they offer startling portraits of the current.”

Nigerian, Irish, Canadian, American, British and Malaysian authors have all been recognised this year.

Irish author Sebastian Barry joins a group of 10 other writers who have been nominated for the Booker Prize at least five times.


Sebastian Barry is nominated for the Booker Prize Award 2023
Sebastian Barry has been nominated five times(Hannah Cunningham/PA)

His novel Old God’s Time, about a murder investigation which leads a retired policeman to confront his past, is on the list this year.

Other Irish authors to feature include Elaine Feeney for How To Build A Boat, Paul Lynch for Prophet Song, and Paul Murray with The Bee Sting.


Murray was longlisted in 2010 for novel Skippy Dies.

Including the authors who have been listed this year, 37 Irish writers have been recognised by the Booker Prize, making Ireland the country that has produced the most nominees, relative to population size, in the prize’s history.

Sarah Bernstein, who was born in Canada and lives in Scotland, was recently named as one of Granta’s Best of Young British Novelists and her book Study For Obedience, about the rise of xenophobia, has made this year’s longlist.

Ayobami Adebayo has become the fifth Nigerian novelist to be nominated for her work A Spell Of Good Things which is an examination of class and desire in modern day Nigeria.

Booker Prize Award 2023 nominees
A Spell Of Good Things by Ayobami Adebayo (Canongate/PA)

Tan Twan Eng, who was nominated for The Gift Of Rain in 2007 and The Garden Of Evening Mists in 2012, features on the list for The House Of Doors, which draws on the life of writer Somerset Maugham.

Two stories exploring grief have also been longlisted – Chetna Maroo’s debut novel Western Lane and Sian Hughes’s book Pearl, which evokes themes explored in the medieval poem of the same name.

Other authors to have been recognised include Jonathan Escoffery, who has been nominated for his debut novel If I Survive You, Paul Harding for This Other Eden and Martin MacInnes for his novel In Ascension.

The Booker Prize Foundation is a registered charity which has been rewarding outstanding fiction for over five decades.

The winner of the International Booker Prize 2023 was Time Shelter by Georgi Gospodinov.

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