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Amitav Ghosh shortlisted for International Booker Prize

Ghosh is only Indian-origin writer among 10 finalists.

By Raif Karerat

WASHINGTON, DC: Amitav Ghosh has emerged as the only Indian frontrunner among the 10 finalists for this year’s Man Booker International Prize for his contribution to English literature.

Ghosh, who was born in Kolkata, narrowly missed out on the prestigious award in 2008 for his novel, “Sea of Poppies.”

The international iteration of the prize, which will be awarded in London on May 19, is given on a biennial basis to a living author who has published fiction either originally in English or whose work is generally available in translation in the English language.

The winner is chosen by a panel of judges and there are no submissions or involvement from publishers. The award comes with a 60,000 pounds and can be won only once in an author’s lifetime.

“This is a most interesting and enlightening list of finalists,” said Jonathan Taylor, Chairman of the Booker Prize Foundation. “For the first time authors included in the list are from ten countries with six new nationalities,” he continued.

The debutants include scribes from Libya, Mozambique, Guadeloupe, Hungary, South Africa and Congo and the proportion of writers translated into English is greater than ever before at 80 per cent, according to the Press Trust of India.

Returning national representation includes Argentina, Lebanon, Guadeloupe, Mozambique, the United States of America, Libya, Hungary, Republic of Congo, and South Africa.

The ten authors on the list are: Cesar Aira (Argentina), Hoda Barakat (Lebanon), Maryse Conde (Guadeloupe), Mia Couto (Mozambique), Amitav Ghosh (India), Fanny Howe (United States of America), Ibrahim al-Koni (Libya), Laszlo Krasznahorkai (Hungary), Alain Mabanckou (Republic of Congo), Marlene van Niekerk (South Africa).

The international edition of the Man Booker Prize was announced in 2004.

At its inception, the Man Booker Prize was only open to writers from the Commonwealth, Ireland and Zimbabwe, but now it is now open to authors from anywhere in the world.

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