Canadian author Sarah Bernstein longlisted for $84K Booker Prize


The annual award recognizes the best original novel written in English and published in the U.K.

Canadian author Sarah Bernstein is among the 13 authors longlisted for the 2023 Booker Prize. 

The £50,000 (approx. $84,816 Cdn) prize annually recognizes the best original novel written in the English language and published in the U.K.

Bernstein is longlisted for Study for Obedience.

The novel explores themes of guilt, abuse and prejudice through the eyes of its unreliable narrator. In it, a woman leaves her hometown to move to a 'remote northern country' to be a housekeeper for her brother, whose wife recently decided to leave him. Soon after her arrival the community is struck by unusual events from collective bovine hysteria to a potato blight. 

When the locals direct their growing suspicions of incomers at her their hostility grows more palpable.

Bernstein is a scholar and writer who was born in Montreal and now teaches literature and creative writing in Scotland. She was recently named as one of Granta's Best of Young British Novelists.

Among the other longlisted writers is Nigerian author Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀, who is nominated for her novel A Spell of Good Things.

A Spell of Good Things, is ambitious in scope, juxtaposing the stories of two families from very different circumstances, whose lives tragically intersect. It's been praised as a compelling "state-of-the-nation" saga, reflecting Nigerian society back to itself.

Adébáyọ̀ made a stunning debut with her 2017 novel, Stay with Me — a dramatic story about marriage, family and polygamy, love and loyalty, set against a time of political turmoil in Nigeria.