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Amitav Ghosh, Aravind Adiga in Booker shortlist

September 09, 2008 17:14 IST
Last Updated: September 09, 2008 19:56 IST

Aravind Adiga's The White Tiger and Amitav Ghosh's Sea of Poppies were among the six books shortlisted for the 2008 Man Booker Prize for Fiction.

The others in the list include Sebastian Barry's The Secret Scripture,  Linda Grant's The Clothes on Their Backs, Philip Hensher's The Northern Clemency and Steve Toltz's A Fraction of the Whole. 

Of these Aravind Adiga and Steve Toltz are first time novelists.

Aravind Adiga: 'Dangers of ignoring India's poor are greater'

The six authors represent a broad geographical spread with two Indian authors, two English authors, an Australian author and an Irish author. The youngest on the list, at 34 years old, is Adiga. Sebastian Barry was shortlisted in 2005 for his novel A Long, Long Way, Linda Grant was longlisted in 2002 for her novel Still Here and Philip Hensher, once a Booker judge himself, was also longlisted in 2002 for his novel The Mulberry Empire.

An encounter with Amitav Ghosh

Michael Portillo, chair of the 2008 judging panel, commented, "The judges commend the six titles to readers with great enthusiasm. These novels are intensely readable, each of them an extraordinary example of imagination and narrative. These fine page-turning stories nonetheless raise highly thought-provoking ideas and issues. These books are in every case both ambitious and approachable."

The judging panel had to read over 112 entries before whittling down the list to the Man Booker Dozen (13 titles) and then again to just six titles. They will meet to decide on the winning novel on October 14, and the author will be awarded the �50,000 (about Rs 40 lakh) prize money at an awards ceremony later that evening at Guildhall, London [Images].

'Indian writers are quite adventurous'

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