Jhumpa Lahiri
Jhumpa Lahiri
Arts & Entertainment

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

NetIndian News Network

London, September 11, 2013

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.
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
Published by Bloomsbury (£16.99)