The “Booker Dozen” has been announced and it includes two South Africans. It’s also free of the controversy that has plagued the prize in the past. No graphic novels or other “foolish” choices that caused previous upsets. Inspired perhaps by last year’s masterful Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart, the judges eschewed controversy in favour of a racially diverse list of truly great writers.

The 13 books longlisted for the UK’s most prestigious prize for a novel written in English were chosen from 158, all published in the UK or Ireland between October 1 2020 and September 30 2021. The shortlist of six will be announced on September 14, and the winner, who will take home £50,000 in addition to huge sales and bragging rights, will be announced on November 2...

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