Public service announcement: this year’s Booker prize longlist is out. Now is your moment to either get reading madly, or do a quick swot of the nominees and their creations and casually name-drop a couple of them at your next dinner party. Fake it till you read it, right?

This year, the "Booker Dozen" — that’s 13 titles — is heavy on women authors, eight in all making the grade. They include former Booker prize winner Margaret Atwood for The Testaments, her yet to be released follow-up to mega-hit The Handmaid’s Tale (1985). The other previous Booker recipient in the pile is Salman Rushdie for his also unreleased work, Quichotte, a retelling of the 17th-century Miguel de Cervantes classic, Don Quixote. Rushdie’s satire and Atwood’s sequel are both out in September...

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