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Amitav Ghosh among 12 longlisted for UK prize

June 19, 2013 16:14 IST

Indian author Amitav Ghosh is among a group of award-winning writers and poets to make the longlist of Warwick Prize for Writing in London on Wednesday.

The biennial prize run by Britain's University of Warwick is an international, cross-disciplinary award open to substantial pieces of writing in the English language in any genre or form.

This year's longlist of 12 titles sees novelists and poets pitted against non-fiction authors, including a theoretical physicist and an academic psychologist. They each stand to win the coveted prize of 25,000 pounds.

"This is an extraordinary longlist and demonstrates exactly why the Warwick Prize is unique. We have here books in every genre, from all around the world. The only difficulty now will be choosing a winner from among them," said Professor Ian Sansom, from the department of English and comparative literary studies at the University of Warwick and chair of this year's judging panel.

Kolkata-born Ghosh has been nominated for 'River of Smoke', alongside other fiction writers such as Australian Booker-prize winner Thomas Keneally for 'The Daughters of Mars' and Israeli writer Etgar Keret for 'Suddenly, a Knock on the Door'.

The list also includes British writer Julian Barnes for 'The Sense of an Ending' that won the Man Booker prize two years ago, as well as American writers Amy Espeseth for 'Sufficient Grace' and Jonathan Franzen for 'Freedom'.

The non-fiction nominees include Iraqi-born British theoretical physicist Jim Al-Khalili for 'Pathfinders: The Golden Age of Arabic Science', Canadian Cordelia Fine for 'Delusions of Gender', and award-winning British travel writer Robert Macfarlane for 'The Old Ways'.

Among the poetry book nominees are award-winning Australian poet Robert Gray for his collection 'Cumulus' and Palestinian poet Nidaa Khoury for 'Books of Sins'.

The shortlist will be announced in August and the winner in late September.

Besides the cash prize, the winner will also win a short placement at the university. Past winners of the award, presented once every two years, include United Kingdom-based science writer Peter Forbes for 'Dazzled and Deceived' in 2011 and Canadian journalist and social activist Naomi Klein for 'The Shock Doctrine' in 2009.

Photograph: Hitesh Harisinghani

Aditi Khanna in London
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