Maaza Mengiste’s The Shadow King longlisted for the 2020 Booker Prize
Maaza Mengiste’s acclaimed second novel, The Shadow King, has made the Long List for the 2020 Booker Prize!
Set during Italy’s 1935 invasion of Ethiopia, the novel explores female power and casts light on the women soldiers written out of African and European history.
With the threat of Mussolini’s army looming, the recently orphaned Hirut longs to do more than care for the wounded and bury the dead. When Ethiopia loses hope, it is Hirut who offers a plan to maintain morale, and soon inspires other women to take up arms.
In January this year, the Embassy hosted the UK launch of the novel where Maaza said it took her ten years to research and write the novel, and in the process, she ended up learning Italian.
When asked why she focused on women she said that that wasn’t her plan, initially. Her research changed everything when she started finding hints and old photographs of Ethiopian women who had been enlisted into the army.
The longlist of 13 books was selected by a panel of five judges, including Ethio-British writer and broadcaster, Lemn Sissay. The list was chosen from 162 novels published in the UK or Ireland between 1st October 2019 and 30th September 2020.
The Booker Prize for Fiction is open to writers of any nationality, writing in English and published in the UK or Ireland.
The shortlist of six books will be announced on 15th September. The 2020 winner will be announced in November. 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.
Latest NewsBrowse all
we appreciate your help.