Five judges narrowed the competition: novelist Bernardine Evaristo, journalist Elizabeth Day, writer Vick Hope, columnist Nesrine Malik and broadcaster Sarah-Jane Mee. Chair of the judges, Evaristo, commented on the selection process:
Torrey Peters has been the first trans woman to make the longlist, for her acclaimed debut novel Detransition, Baby. This follows the clarification asserted by organisers in 2020 that the Prize was open for entries from any "cis woman, a transgender woman or anyone who is legally defined as a woman or of the female sex". Reaction to this statement at the time included criticism that the request for legal verification of sex was problematic.
The long-list includes five other debut novels, as well as spanning a plethora of settings, from "South London to Deep South; Ghana, Hong Kong, Barbados, Brooklyn and a fantasy realm". All books were published between 1 April 2020 and 31 March 2021, and nominations were open globally.
The same panel now whittles these sixteen down to just six, with this shortlist to be announced on April 28th, and the overall winner being declared on the 7th July. Find the full line up on the Prize's website here.
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