The cover of 'A Spell of Good Thing' by Ayobami Adebayo.
Photo published on Ayobami Adebayo's Twitter page.

Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀'s Novel, 'A Spell of Good Things,' Secures Spot on the Longlist for the 2023 Booker Prize

Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀'s second novel, 'A Spell of Good Things,' exploring class and desire in modern-day Nigeria, was longlisted for #BookerPrize2023.

The Booker Prize, the world's most prestigious award for a single work of fiction written in English and published in the United Kingdom or Ireland, has announced its longlist of finalists for the year 2023. Launched in 1969, the prize continues to recognize outstanding contributions to the literary world, and this year's list comprises 13 authors and titles, with the notable inclusion of four debut authors.

The panel of judges, led by the acclaimed novelist Esi Edugyan, had an arduous task, as they meticulously read through more than 160 novels before arriving at the 13 selected titles. Among these entries, there were four debut works, showcasing the burgeoning talent and diversity of voices in contemporary literature. Since 2014, the Booker Prize has also allowed American writers to be eligible for the award, expanding the competition.

Last year's laureate was Shehan Karunatilaka, a Sri Lankan author whose second novel, The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida, delves into the aftermath of a war photographer's killing in 1990s Colombo, offering profound insights into life and death amidst a backdrop of civil war in Sri Lanka.

Among the prominent authors vying for the award this year is Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ from Nigeria, whose novel A Spell of Good Things explores the themes of class and desire in modern-day Nigeria. Judges have described her work as a "powerful, staggering read," highlighting its exceptional storytelling and compelling examination of societal dynamics. She's the fifth Nigerian novelist to be nominated for the Booker Prize and would be the second Nigerian-born winner, after Ben Okri.

The panel responsible for selecting this year's longlist is composed of a diverse group of experts, including Esi Edugyan (twice-shortlisted novelist and chair of the panel), actor Adjoa Andoh, poet Mary Jean Chan, Shakespeare scholar James Shapiro, and actor and author Robert Webb. Their collective efforts led them to discover narratives that transcended boundaries and provided profound insights into the human experience across various settings, from the streets of Lagos and London to the depths of the Atlantic.

The Booker Prize Foundation's Chief Executive, Gaby Wood, commended the judges for seeking novels that push the boundaries of the literary form while offering readers a deeper understanding of the world. She expressed delight in the selection, which includes debut novels, works from established Booker authors, and contributions from writers at the peak of their practice.

The literary world eagerly awaits the announcement of the shortlist, scheduled for September 21, which will feature six standout works from the longlist. The final winner will be revealed on November 26, receiving a grand prize of £50,000, while each shortlisted novelist will be awarded £2,500 along with a specially bound edition of their book.

The full longlist is: