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Mohsin Hamid among those shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize

American heavyweights Paul Auster and George Saunders are to go head to head for this year’s Man Booker prize, as major names from fiction fall by the wayside for two new faces on the 2017 shortlist.

The prize judges, chaired by Baroness Lola Young, announced their shortlist of six titles on Wednesday morning. Alongside Auster and Saunders, the 29-year-old British debut novelist Fiona Mozley has secured a place in the final line-up, as did American first timer Emily Fridlund. Continue reading

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‘Selection Day’: Two brothers and an obsessed dad seek a ticket out of poverty

By Ron Charles

selection-day

Americans know more about Quidditch than they do about cricket, but there must be magic in both games. Although the British import struck out against baseball on these shores sometime in the 19th century, readers here have shown themselves willing to tolerate wickets and stumps if the writing is good enough. After all, Joseph O’Neill’s “Netherland” attracted an appreciative audience in his adopted United States and went on to win the PEN/Faulkner Award in 2009. And now Americans should venture onto the field again for Aravind Adiga’s tragicomic novel “Selection Day.”

Adiga is an Indo-Australian writer who won the Man Booker Prize in 2008 for his debut novel, “The White Tiger.” Its Bangalore setting may have felt remote, but the story of an ambitious chauffeur resonated with people around the world. Read more

Source: Washington Post

 


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Here’s the 10th and final list of speakers announced for Jaipur Literature Festival

By Craig Cranenburgh

The upcoming edition of the Jaipur Literature Festival marks its 10th anniversary and meteoric rise from a gem of an idea into becoming what is called the biggest free literary festival on earth. Over the years, the festival has hosted 1300 speakers and welcomed nearly 1.2 million book lovers. The festival, back its home in Diggi Palace, Jaipur, is expected to welcome over 250 authors, thinkers, politicians, journalists and popular culture icons this year.


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The top 10 Asian books of 2016, from vivid science fiction to Japanese crime, Vietnam war memories and today’s China

Former Hong Kong academic Madeleine Thien’s Booker shortlisted family saga, Hideo Yokoyama’s gripping tale of corruption in Japan and Mei Fong’s searing history of China’s one-child policy among our picks

By James Kidd

It was a vintage year for literature – particularly in Asia. South China Morning Post book critic James Kidd lists his top 10 books of the year by Asian writers, or about Asia itself.

Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeleine Thien

Six decades of Chinese history are dramatised through music and politics, family and friendship, love and loss. Shortlisted for the Man Booker prize, here is one of the books of the year, by a former Hong Kong academic. Read more

Source: South China Morning Post


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Why is Pakistan alienated by the global literati?

Arundhati Roy once said:

“[…] Writing is an incredible act of individualism, producing your language, and yet to use it from the heart of a crowd as opposed to as an individual performance is a conflicting thing.”

Roy, like many other authors of Indian descent has won a multitude of literary prizes, including the esteemed Man Booker Prize for Fiction. Which is why when India wasn’t nominated this year, it came as a blow to the world. This consternation, in my opinion, represented something far deeper for Pakistan: the alienation we face from the global literati, a sentiment the writers from this side of the border have come to accept.

On the 25th of October, the Booker for 2016 was awarded to the USA’s Paul Beatty. And with the announcement of this year’s awarding ceremony, it’s saddening to note that India’s troubled neighbour has never won a single international prize for literature – let alone the Man Booker.

Perhaps it is a paucity of distinctiveness in the Pakistani voice, or maybe it’s the deficiency of branding that our contiguous counterpart finds in abundance, but Pakistani novelists never seem to strike any chords with the literary intelligentsia. The aforementioned quote is evidently accommodating for this thought; somewhere along the way, our writers lost their sense of individualism. This, coupled with Indian fictionists’ continual plenitude of literary laurels, begs the question: will we ever win an international literary award like the Booker? Read more


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Paul Beatty becomes first US author to win the Man Booker prize with racial satire The Sellout

paul-beatty

The Man Booker Prize has been won by an American author for the first time, for an expletive-ridden satire judges said “eviscerated” political correctness.

Paul Beatty’s The Sellout was awarded the 2016 prize of £50,000, in the third year since it has been controversially opened to American writers.

Judges said the book contained “absolutely savage wit”, managing to “eviscerate every social taboo and politically correct nuance, every sacred cow, while both making us laugh and wince”.

The novel tells the story of a disaffected black American narrator who seeks to reinstate slavery and segregation in his “agrarian ghetto” town.

Confronting the inflammatory issues of race in modern America, it has raised eyebrows for its language with nearly 200 references to “n—-r” and 233 “f—“.  Read more


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Indian Among 13 Authors Long-Listed for 2015 Booker

Indian author Anuradha Roy and British-Indian Sunjeev Sahota are among 13 international authors long-listed for the 2015 Man Booker Prize, the prestigious literary prize committee announced here today.

Roy has been picked for her third novel, ‘Sleeping on Jupiter’, and Sahota for ‘The Year of the Runaways’, the committee said.

“We had a great time choosing this list. Discussions weren’t always peaceful, but they were always very friendly,” said Michael Wood, chair of this year’s Man Booker judging panel.

“We were lucky in our companions and the submissions were extraordinary. The long-list could have been twice as long, but we’re more than happy with our final choice. Continue reading


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Arifa Akbar picks the best fiction of 2014: The Independent

Man Booker prize winner Richard Flanagan led the vanguard in a triumphant year for Antipodean fiction

The Narrow Road To The Deep North coverIt was a triumphant year for Antipodean fiction, the vanguard led not by grandee Peter Carey’s Amnesia, but by the winner of the Man Booker prize, Richard Flanagan, who not only gave us an astounding love story in The Narrow Road to the Deep North (Chatto & Windus, £16.99), but dared to enter into territory – the cruelty inflicted by the Japanese on Australian PoWs – which Carey confessed his generation had feared to tread.

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Man Booker prize: Richard Flanagan wins with ‘timeless depiction of war’

Australian novelist picks up award for story of prisoners and captors on Burma railway in The Narrow Road to the Deep North: The Guardian

Richard Flanagan wins the Booker prize
Richard Flanagan is the third Australian to win the Booker prize, after Thomas Keneally and Peter Carey. Photograph: Alastair Grant/AP

The first Man Booker prize to allow American nominees was on Tuesday night won by an Australian, with Richard Flanagan triumphing for a “magnificent novel of love and war” that tells the harrowing stories of prisoners and captors on the Burma railway.

Flanagan won for The Narrow Road to the Deep North and followed Thomas Keneally and Peter Carey to become the third Australian to win the prize.

He instinctively hugged the Duchess of Cornwall as he received the award at a black tie dinner in London. “In Australia the Man Booker prize is sometimes seen as something of a chicken raffle,” he joked. “I just didn’t expect to end up the chicken.”

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Man Booker prize: Neel Mukherjee tipped to prevent first American win

Odds stacked against US novelists Joshua Ferris and Karen Joy Fowler, as shortlisted authors wait for announcement of winner: The Guardian

Neel Mukherjee, author of The Lives of Others.
Neel Mukherjee, author of The Lives of Others. Photograph: David Levenson/Getty Images

The US novelists Joshua Ferris and Karen Joy Fowler will have to beat the odds if one of them is to become the first American winner of the Man Booker prize, to be announced on Tuesday night in London.

For the first time, the £50,000 prize is open to any author writing originally in English and published in the UK, but Ferris’s book, To Rise Again at a Decent Hour, described as a New York tale of existential dentistry, and We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Fowler, a tale of family life where a psychologist father twins his daughter with a chimp, are the bookmakers’ outsiders.

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