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India-born Neel Mukherjee in Man Booker prize...


Times of India, Wednesday, 10th September 2014


Neel Mukherjee, a Kolkata-born British citizen, on Tuesday emerged as the only Indian-origin writer to be named in this year's Man Booker prize longlist of authors vying for the prize in its debut as a global literary award.


London-based Mukherjee has been selected for his second novel, "The Lives of Others", published in May this year.


The book is based in the author's birth place of Kolkata and centres around a dysfunctional Ghosh family in the 1960s.


Mukherjee, who went on to study at Oxford and Cambridge Universities, reviews fiction for Times and Sunday Telegraph.


His first novel "A Life Apart" was a joint winner of the Vodafone-Crossword Award in India.


There are six novels from Britain, five from the US, one from Australia and one from Ireland shortlisted for the prize.


For the first time in its 46-year history, the 50,000 pounds prize has been opened up to writers of any nationality, writing originally in English and published in the UK.


Previously, the prize was open to authors from the UK & Commonwealth, Republic of Ireland and Zimbabwe.


First awarded in 1969, the prize is recognised as the touchstone for high quality literary fiction written in English.


Australia's Richard Flanagan is the only non-British representative of the Commonwealth on the 13-strong list, while US novelists fill four spots.


The British novels are "J" by Howard Jacobson, "The Wake" by Paul Kingsnorth, "The Bone Clocks" by David Mitchell, "The Lives of Others" by Mukherjee, "Us" by David Nicholls and "How To Be Both" by Ali Smith.


In the event, judges chose four Americans: Joshua Ferris, Siri Hustvedt, Karen Joy Fowler and Richard Powers. An Irish-born US resident Joseph O'Neill was also named in the list.


Irishman Niall Williams made it to the list for his "History of the Rain".



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