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Jhumpa Lahiri's The Lowland among six books in Man Booker Prize 2013 shortlist


 
2013 Man Booker Prize for Fiction shortlist announced
Indian American writer Jhumpa Lahiri's The Lowland is among the six books in the shortlist for the Man Booker Prize 2013 announced here on Tuesday by Robert Macfarlane, the chair of judges.
 
The other five books in the shortlist are NoViolet Bulawayo's We Need New Names; 
Eleanor Catton's The Luminaries; Jim Crace's Harvest; Ruth Ozeki's A Tale for the Time Being and Colm Tóibín's The Testament of Mary.
 
"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, 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 said.
 
Two of the writers have appeared on the shortlist before: Crace was shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 1997 for Quarantine, while Tóibín has been shortlisted twice: for The Blackwater Lightship in 1999 and in 2004 with The Master.
 
The four female writers on the list are being nominated for the first time for the prize. Ozeki is a Buddhist priest, Lahiri is a member of United States President Barack Obama's Committee on the Arts and Humanities and Bulawayo is the first Zimbabwean writer to make the short list. Catton, who will be 28 at the time of the winner announcement, is the youngest on the shortlist.
 
Macfarlane was joined at the press conference by the four other members of the 2013 Man Booker Prize judging panel: 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 judges now have just over a month to re-read the shortlisted titles and select one winner, who will be announced on October 15 at the winner’s ceremony at London’s Guildhall.
 
2013 marks the 45th year of the Man Booker Prize. It was first awarded to P.H. 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. 
 
The following is the shortlist:
 
We Need New Names 
By NoViolet Bulawayo         
Published by Chatto & Windus (£14.99)
 
We Need New Names tells the story of Darling and her friends Stina, Chipo, Godknows, Sbho and Bastard. They all used to have proper houses, with real rooms and furniture, but now they all live in a shanty called Paradise. They spend their days stealing guavas, playing games and wondering how to get the baby out of young Chipo’s stomach. They dream of escaping to other paradises – America, Dubai, Europe. But if they do escape, will these new lands bring everything they wish for?
 
NoViolet Bulawayo was born in Tsholotsho, Zimbabwe, on 12 October 1981. She earned her MFA at Cornell University, where she was also awarded a Truman Capote Fellowship, and she is currently a Stegner Fellow at Stanford University in California. She is the author of the short story Hitting Budapest (2010), which won the 2011 Caine Prize for African Writing, and Snapshots (2009), shortlisted for the South Africa PEN Studzinsi Award. Her latest novel, We Need New Names, was published on 6 June 2013.
 
The Luminaries
By Eleanor Catton
Published by Granta (£18.99)
 
It is 1866, and Walter Moody has come to make his fortune upon the New Zealand goldfields.  On arrival, he stumbles across a tense gathering of twelve local men, who have met in secret to discuss a series of unsolved crimes.  A wealthy man has vanished, a whore has tried to end her life, and an enormous fortune has been discovered in the home of a luckless drunk.  Moody is soon drawn into the mystery: a network of fates and fortunes that is as complex and exquisitely patterned as the night sky.
 
Eleanor Catton was born on 24 September 1985 in Canada and raised in New Zealand. She holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop, where she also held an adjunct professorship, and an MA in fiction writing from the International Institute of Modern Letters. She currently lives in Auckland, New Zealand. Her debut novel The Rehearsal (2008) was shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award and the Dylan Thomas Prize, and longlisted for the Orange Prize. It has since been published in 17 territories and 12 languages. Her latest novel The Luminaries was published on 5 September 2013.
 
Harvest
By Jim Crace
Published by Picador (£16.99)
 
As late summer steals in and the final pearls of barley are gleaned, a village comes under threat. A trio of outsiders – two men and a dangerously magnetic woman – arrives on the woodland borders and puts up a make-shift camp. That same night, the local manor house is set on fire. Over the course of seven days, Walter Thirsk sees his hamlet unmade: the harvest blackened by smoke and fear, the new arrivals cruelly punished, and his neighbours held captive on suspicion of witchcraft. But something even darker is at the heart of his story, and he will be the only man left to tell it . . .
 
Jim Crace was born in Hertfordshire on 1 March 1946. He read English Literature at London University and worked for VSO in Sudan as an assistant in Sudanese educational television. He began writing fiction in 1974 and his first story, Annie, California Plates, was published by the New Review. He became Writer in Residence at the Midlands Arts Centre and in 1983 he directed the first Birmingham Festival of Readers and Writers.  His first book, Continent (1986), won the Whitbread First Novel Award, the Guardian Fiction Prize and the David Higham Prize for Fiction.  His fourth novel, Signals of Distress (1994) won the Winifred Holtby Memorial Prize. Quarantine (1997) was shortlisted for the Booker Prize for Fiction. Being Dead (1999) won the Whitbread Novel Award, the National Book Critics’ Circle Fiction Award (USA) and was shortlisted for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award.  He was awarded the E. M. Forster Award by the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1992 and became a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 1999. His latest book, Harvest, was published on 14 February 2013.
 
The Lowland
By Jhumpa Lahiri 
Jhumpa Lahiri
Jhumpa Lahiri
Published by Bloomsbury (£16.99)
 
Brothers Subhash and Udayan are close in age and utterly inseparable as children in Calcutta. Yet, as the years pass – as U.S tanks roll into Vietnam, as riots sweep across India and the Communist movement begins to take root – Udayan’s increasingly radical beliefs will transform the futures of those dearest to him: his newly married, pregnant wife, his brother and their parents. For all of them, the repercussions of his actions will reverberate across continents and seep through the generations that follow. Epic in scope and intimate in its portrayal of lives undone and forged anew, The Lowland is a deeply felt novel of family ties that entangle and fray in ways unforeseen.
 
Jhumpa Lahiri was born on 11 July 1967 in London. She is a member of the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities, appointed by U.S. President Barack Obama. She is the author of four works of fiction: Interpreter of Maladies (1999), which won the 2000 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction; The Namesake (2003), adapted into the popular film of the same name; Unaccustomed Earth (2008); and The Lowland, which was published on 8 September 2013.
 
A Tale for the Time Being
By Ruth Ozeki 
Published by Canongate (£20)
 
Ruth discovers a Hello Kitty lunchbox washed up on the shore of her beach home. Within it lies a diary that expresses the hopes and dreams of a young girl. She suspects it might have arrived on a drift of debris from the 2011 tsunami. With every turn of the page, she is sucked deeper into an enchanting mystery. In a small cafe in Tokyo, 16-year-old Nao Yasutani is navigating the challenges thrown up by modern life. In the face of cyberbullying, the mysteries of a 104-year-old Buddhist nun and great-grandmother, and the joy and heartbreak of family, Nao is trying to find her own place - and voice - through a diary she hopes will find a reader and friend who finally understands her.
 
Ruth Ozeki was born on 12 March 1956 in New Haven, Connecticut, and raised by an American father and a Japanese mother. She studied English and Asian Studies at Smith College. In June 2010 she was ordained as a Zen Buddhist priest. With a Canadian passport, she divides her time between British Columbia and New York. She is the author of three novels: My Year of Meats (1998), which won the Kiriyama Pacific Rim Award, the Imus/Barnes and Noble American Book Award, and a Special Jury Prize of the World Cookbook Awards in Versailles; All Over Creation (2002), the recipient of a 2004 American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation, as well as the Willa Literary Award for Contemporary Fiction; and A Tale for the Time Being, which was published on 11 March 2013.
 
The Testament of Mary
By Colm Tóibín 
Published by Viking (£7.99)
 
In a voice that is both tender and filled with rage, The Testament of Mary tells the story of a cataclysmic event which led to an overpowering grief. For Mary, her son has been lost to the world, and now, living in exile and in fear, she tries to piece together the memories of the events that led to her son's brutal death. To her he was a vulnerable figure, surrounded by men who could not be trusted, living in a time of turmoil and change. As her life and her suffering begin to acquire the resonance of myth, Mary struggles to break the silence surrounding what she knows to have happened. In her effort to tell the truth in all its gnarled complexity, she slowly emerges as a figure of immense moral stature as well as a woman from history rendered now as fully human.
 
Colm Tóibín was born in Enniscorthy, Co Wexford, on 30 May 1955 and educated at University College Dublin. He is the author of five novels: The South, (1990) winner of The Irish Times Literature Prize in 1991; The Heather Blazing, winner of the Encore Award for the best second novel in 1992; The Story of the Night (1997); The Blackwater Lightship (1999), shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize; and The Master (2004), shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and winner of the Los Angeles Times Novel of the Year and the Prix du Meilleur Livre Etranger in France; and The Testament of Mary, which was published on 4 July 2013. Tóibín’s books have been translated into 25 languages.
 
The six shortlisted books were chosen from a longlist of 13 books. They were:
 
Author Title (Publisher)
 
Tash Aw Five Star Billionaire (Fourth Estate)
NoViolet Bulawayo We Need New Names (Chatto & Windus)
Eleanor Catton The Luminaries (Granta)
Jim Crace Harvest (Picador)
Eve Harris The Marrying of Chani Kaufman (Sandstone Press)
Richard House The Kills (Picador) 
Jhumpa Lahiri The Lowland (Bloomsbury)
Alison MacLeod Unexploded (Hamish Hamilton) 
Colum McCann TransAtlantic (Bloomsbury) 
Charlotte Mendelson Almost English (Mantle) 
Ruth Ozeki A Tale for the Time Being (Canongate)
Donal Ryan The Spinning Heart (Doubleday)
Colm Tóibín The Testament of Mary (Viking)
 
The longlisted books were selected from a total of 151 titles, 14 of which were called in by the judges
 
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