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Indian-origin writer in fray for Booker prize

August 15, 2006 22:27 IST

Indian-orgin writer Kiran Desai's novel The Inheritance of Loss has made it to the long list for the 2006 Man Booker fiction prize along with 18 other works.

Kiran is the daughter of noted writer Anita Desai who has been short-listed three times in the 1980s. Her novel, with a teenaged girl as the protagonist, explores contemporary issues like multiculturalism, fundamentalism and terrorist violence.

While British author David Mitchell is reportedly an early favourite with his novel Black Swan Green, veterans and past winners of the prize -- Nadine Gordimer, Peter Carey and Barry Unsworth -- are also giving him a tough fight.

The long list has been dominated by the 'Davids' - a new generation of novelists who have yet to become household names.

Eighty-two-year-old Gordimer from South Africa is in the competition this year with her 14th novel, Get a Life, her first in five years.

Carey, Australia's best-known novelist, is aiming for a record-breaking third win this time with his novel Theft: A Love Story. Barry Unsworth's The Ruby in Her Navel is also in the reckoning. Unsworthy's Sacred Hunger had shared the prize in 1992 with Michael Ondaatje's The English Patient.

Others who found a place in the long list are: Robert Edric (Gathering the Water), Kate Grenville (The Secret River), M J Hyland (Carry Me Down), Howard Jacobson (Kalooki Nights) and James Lasdun (Seven Lies).

Mary Lawson (The Other Side of the Bridge), Jon McGregor (So Many Ways to Begin), Hisham Matar (In the Country of Men), Claire Messud (The Emperor's Children) and Naeem Murr (The perfect Man) have also made it this time.

Andrew O'Hagan (Be Near Me), James Robertson (The Testament of Gideon Mack), Edward St Aubyn (Mother's Milk) and Sarah Waters (The Night Watch) have also gained entry to the Bookers' long list.

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