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The excitement builds as thirteen shrinks to six! The long list for the Booker prize has been reduced to the six finalists, including Margaret Atwood’s The Testaments, which comes out a week from today (!!) and Salman Rushdie’s Quichotte (both authors have won the award previously, Atwood for The Blind Assassin in 2000 and Rushdie for Midnight’s Children in 1981).
The other finalists are Lucy Ellmann, Bernardine Evaristo, Chigozie Obioma, and Elif Shafak. Information about these books can be found at the NYT.
The winner will be announced Oct. 14 at a ceremony in London and will receive a prize of £50,000 (NYT estimates $61,000 USD today).
Margaret Atwood won the Booker Prize in 2000 for The Blind Assassin and is in the running again for the prize for her upcoming novel The Testaments, the sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale, which will be released on September 10. Atwood has been shortlisted for the Booker Prize five times, first for The Handmaid’s Tale in 1986, when she lost out to Kingsley Amis, and most recently in 2003 for Oryx and Crake.
The Guardian reports that 13 finalists were chosen among 131 novels for the longlist. Previous winner Salman Rushdie is also on the longlist (Rushdie won in 1981 for Midnight’s Children). Among the other eleven are the American-born Lucy Ellmann (who moved to England as a teenager), English writer Jeanette Winterson, Nigerian author Chigozie Obioma, and Irish author Kevin Barry.
According to the New York Times, “a ferocious nondisclosure agreement” prevented the prize’s judges from revealing any of the plot of The Testaments, but they did say it is “terrifying and exhilarating.”
A note about The Booker Prize:
The Booker is the most prestigious British literary award and comes with a handsome prize of £50,000. The prize was originally known as the Booker–McConnell Prize, when the Booker–McConnell company began sponsoring the prize in 1969. Later it became known as simply the Booker Prize. It was previously awarded to a full-length novel written in English by an author from the Commonwealth of Nations or Ireland. but now can be awarded to any English language novel published in the UK. As of June 1, 2019, the Booker Prize is now sponsored by the Crankstart Foundation of California not the Man Group as it was for the past 18 years (when it was referred to as the Man Booker Prize), and is known again as simply the Booker Prize.
Variety is reporting that the rights to Margaret Atwood’s first novel, 1969’s The Edible Woman, have been acquired by Entertainment One. Variety reports that eOne (On the Basis of Sex, Designated Survivor) will hold worldwide rights to the series in addition to producing it. Francine Zuckerman of Z Films and Karen Shaw of Quarterlife Crisis Productions will serve as executive producers.
If you’re like us, you’ve been dying to know what happens to Offred after the book leaves off and how future historians got a hold of Offred’s story. After 35 we will finally get some answers as a sequel is coming. It will be called The Testaments and will take place 15 years after The Handmaid’s Tale left off. Atwood tells us that the story will be told by three female characters, and the publisher promises that “the book answers the question that has tantalized readers for decades: What happens to Offred?”
Read more at NPR.
Also, cheers to Stephen Colbert for his quip: “Margaret Atwood is writing a sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale, and Donald Trump is almost finished with the prequel.”
Every entering freshman to Northwestern University this fall will receive their own copy of The Handmaid’s Tale and will be exposed to a year full of events related to the book. (For context, in the 2017-2018 school year, there were 91 different events on campus related to the One Book selection– this year promises to be as robust, if not more so!)
Atwood will be at Northwestern to give keynote talks on October 30, 2018, a talk each on both the Chicago and the Evanston campuses, where One Book Faculty Chair Helen Thompson also plans to ask Atwood questions about “The Handmaid’s Tale, its recent television adaptation, and its centrality to the current cultural moment.”
For more information on Northwestern’s One Book program, see its webpage here.
According to The Hollywood Reporter Margaret Atwood is extending her relationship with Dark Horse Comics, with the Oregon publisher planning two titles for fall 2018 written by the critically acclaimed author of The Handmaid’s Tale. Get details here.