Booker Prize shortlisted books available in braille and audio from RNIB Library

Post date: 
Monday, 1 November 2021

Blind and partially sighted book lovers are set to benefit as The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB), in partnership with the Booker Prize Foundation, is offering free accessible versions of the 2021 Booker Prize shortlist.

All six books in contention for the prize will now be made available in braille and audio thanks to the Booker Prize Foundation making an annual donation to RNIB to produce the books in accessible formats. The books will also be available to download from RNIB’s online library.

The shortlist comprises:

  • Maggie Shipstead – Great Circle
  • Damon Galgut – The Promise
  • Patricia Lockwood – No One is Talking About This
  • Anuk Arudpragasam – A Passage North
  • Nadifa Mohamed – The Fortune Men
  • Richard Powers – Bewilderment

The Booker Prize winner will be announced on 03 November and RNIB’s library team is working hard to make the shortlisted titles available in accessible formats shortly.  

Readers can find out more about the shortlisted books in a series of interviews with the authors on RNIB Connect Radio, and at

James Bartlett, RNIB Reading Services Manager, said: “It has once again been a pleasure to work with the Booker Prize Foundation to make these prestigious titles accessible for people with sight loss. RNIB strives to make the world a more inclusive place for blind and partially sighted people and it’s so important that books are available in formats that our readers can enjoy. Congratulations and good luck to the shortlisted contenders.”

Eve Smith, secretary of the Booker Prize Foundation, commented: “Ensuring that the shortlisted books are available to blind and partially sighted readers is an important priority for us. We know the authors always recognise the importance of this, are delighted it happens, and are keen to be involved in the RNIB Connect Radio interviews. We are very pleased and proud to continue our long-standing collaboration with the RNIB.”

RNIB’s online library platform offers people with sight loss instant access to almost 35,000 titles for free in formats that they can read, making it the UK’s largest online library of Talking Books – the world’s first audiobooks, which were originally created by the charity for soldiers who were blinded in the First World War.

RNIB is continually adding new content to its collection and works closely with publishers to bring readers the latest releases. Funded by voluntary donations, RNIB’s Library service sends out up to 10,000 books per day and lent more than 1.4 million titles last year on CD, USB, and digital downloads.

To sign up to the online library please visit the RNIB website, or call the RNIB helpline on 0303 123 9999 to find out more.    

Notes to editors

All media enquiries to Cianna McNally on 0207 391 2082 or [email protected]. For urgent enquiries out-of-hours, please call 07968 482812.

About RNIB’s Talking Books

Talking Books reach hundreds of thousands of blind and partially sighted people. They’re currently more popular than ever, and it all started over 80 years ago when RNIB began providing books to war-blinded soldiers. RNIB’s Talking Book library started out with fifty-five books; it now sends out up to 10,000 books per day.

About RNIB

We are the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB).

Every six minutes, someone in the UK begins to lose their sight. RNIB is taking a stand against exclusion, inequality and isolation to create a world without barriers where people with sight loss can lead full lives. A different world where society values blind and partially sighted people not for the disabilities they’ve overcome, but for the people they are.

RNIB. See differently. Call the RNIB Helpline on 0303 123 9999 or visit

Booker Prize Foundation

The Booker Prize Foundation is a registered charity (no 1090049) established in 2002. It is responsible for the award of The Booker Prize for Fiction and for The International Booker Prize.

The trustees of the Booker Prize Foundation are: Mark Damazer (chair) – freelance journalist and former broadcast executive; Nick Barley – director of Edinburgh International Book Festival; Bidisha SK Mamata – writer, critic and broadcaster; Carol Lake – managing director, Philanthropy Executive at JPMorgan Chase;; Ben Okri - poet and author; MT Rainey – strategist, agency founder and social entrepreneur; Professor Louise Richardson – vice chancellor of the University of Oxford; Nicki Sheard – digital and social media executive; The Rt Hon. Lord David Willetts – writer, ex-minister and advocate of fairness between the generations.