Indian American author Jhumpa Lahiri’s book features in Man Booker Prize Shortlist 2013


Jhumpa Lahiri has proved her writing prowess once again – her book ‘The Lowland’ has been listed in the shortlist of Man Booker Prize 2013. Here’s more on this shortlist. This year the Man booker Prize Shortlist 2013 is wonderfully various in terms of geography, form, length and subject, with six writers hailing from across the globe: Canada, Britain, Ireland, New Zealand and, for the first time in the prize’s history, Zimbabwe.

The winning authors & titles…

The six books, whittled down from a longlist of 13, are: NoViolet Bulawayo: We Need New Names (Chatto & Windus); Eleanor Catton: The Luminaries (Granta); Jim Crace: Harvest (Picador); Jhumpa Lahiri: The Lowland (Bloomsbury); Ruth Ozeki: A Tale for the Time Being (Canongate) and Colm Tóibín: The Testament of Mary (Viking).

Two writers have appeared on the shortlist before: Jim Crace was shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 1997 for Quarantine (Viking), while Colm Tóibín has been shortlisted twice: for The Blackwater Lightship in 1999 and in 2004 with The Master.

It is the first time each of the four female writers has been nominated for the prize. They count amongst them a Buddhist priest (Ozeki), a member of Barack Obama’s President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities (Lahiri) and the first Zimbabwean writer to make the shortlist (Bulawayo). Eleanor Catton, who will be 28 at the time of the winner announcement, is the youngest on the shortlist.

The judging panel….

The shortlist was announced by Robert Macfarlane, at a press conference held at the Man Group’s London headquarters. He commented, “Global in its reach, this exceptional shortlist demonstrates the vitality and range of the contemporary novel at its finest. These six superb works of fiction take us from gold-rush New Zealand to revolutionary Calcutta (New Kolkata), from modern-day Japan to the Holy Land of the Gospels, and from Zimbabwe to the deep English countryside. World-spanning in their concerns, and ambitious in their techniques, they remind us of the possibilities and power of the novel as a form.”

Macfarlane was joined at the shortlist press conference by the four other members of the 2013 Man Booker Prize judging panel: the renowned broadcaster Martha Kearney; critic, academic and prize-winning biographer, Robert Douglas-Fairhurst; broadcaster, classicist and critic, Natalie Haynes and Stuart Kelly, essayist and former literary editor of Scotland on Sunday.

The process…

The six shortlist books were selected from a longlist of 13 titles. While, the longlisted books were selected from a total of 151 titles, 14 of which were called in by the judges. All the six authors will each be presented with a cheque for £2,500 and a hand-bound edition of their book, prepared by some of the UK’s leading bookbinders. In addition, the winner receives £50,000.

About the Award

2013 marks the 45th year of the Man Booker Prize. It was first awarded to PH Newby for Something to Answer For in 1969. Last year’s winner, Hilary Mantel, has made history as the first woman and the first British author to win the prize twice. Her two winning novels – Bring Up the Bodies and Wolf Hall – have sold over 1.5 million copies. She is the first Man Booker Prize winning author to take the number spot in the official UK top 50, with the mass-market edition of Bring Up the Bodies.

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