Pulitzer Prize winning author, Jhumpa Lahiri has been longlisted for the 2013 Man Booker Prize for Fiction. (Tuesday 23 July 2013.)
Lahiri’s second novel, The Lowland (scheduled to be published by Bloomsbury in September) follows the story of two brothers. Born just fifteen months apart, Subhash and Udayan Mitra are inseparable, often mistaken for the other in the Calcutta neighborhood where they grow up. But they are also opposites, with gravely different futures ahead. It is the 1960s, and Udayan—charismatic and impulsive—finds himself drawn to the Naxalite movement, a rebellion waged to eradicate inequity and poverty; he will give everything, risk all, for what he believes. Subhash, the dutiful son, does not share his brother’s political passion; he leaves home to pursue a life of scientific research in a quiet, coastal corner of America.
But when Subhash learns what happened to his brother in the lowland outside their family’s home, he goes back to India, hoping to pick up the pieces of a shattered family, and to heal the wounds Udayan left behind—including those seared in the heart of his brother’s wife.
Lahiri won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2000 for her short story collection, Interpreter of Maladies, and is expected to make the six books shortlist announced on September 10.
Robert Macfarlane, Chair of judges, commented:
‘This is surely the most diverse longlist in Man Booker history: wonderfully various in terms of geography, form, length and subject. These 13 outstanding novels range from the traditional to the experimental, from the first century AD to the present day, from 100 pages to 1,000 and from Shanghai to Hendon.’
The winner of the 2013 prize will be announced at a winner’s ceremony on Tuesday 15 October from London’s Guildhall, an event broadcast by the BBC on BBC News 24 and the 1o o’clock News on BBC One. The shortlisted writers are each awarded £2,500 and presented with a specially commissioned, beautifully hand-bound edition of their book. The winner will receive a further £50,000.
Robert Macfarlane, who was previously a member of the judging panel in 2004, is joined on the 2013 Man Booker Prize for Fiction judging panel by: the renowned broadcaster Martha Kearney; critic, academic and prize-winning biographer, Robert Douglas-Fairhurst; broadcaster, classicist and critic, Natalie Haynes and Stuart Kelly, essayist and former literary editor of Scotland on Sunday.
Indian writers have had success with the prize in the not to recent past with writers, Arundhati Roy (The God of Small Things 1997), Kiran Desai (The Inheritance of Loss 2006) and Aravind Adiga (The White Tiger 2008) all winning the Man Booker Prize.
The full 2013 longlist includes:
Tash Aw Five Star Billionaire (Fourth Estate)
NoViolet Bulawayo We Need New Names (Chatto & Windus)
Eleanor Catton The Luminaries (Granta)
Jim Crace Harvest (Picador)
Eve Harris The Marrying of Chani Kaufman (Sandstone Press)
Richard House The Kills (Picador)
Jhumpa Lahiri The Lowland (Bloomsbury)
Alison MacLeod Unexploded (Hamish Hamilton)
Colum McCann TransAtlantic (Bloomsbury)
Charlotte Mendelson Almost English (Mantle)
Ruth Ozeki A Tale for the Time Being (Canongate)
Donal Ryan The Spinning Heart (Doubleday Ireland)
Colm Tóibín The Testament of Mary (Viking)
To find out more about the prize please visit www.themanbookerprize.com.
Jhumpa Lahiri was born in London and raised in Rhode Island. She is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, and author of two previous books. Her debut collection of stories, Interpreter of Maladies, was awarded the Pulitzer Prize, the PEN/Hemingway Award and The New Yorker Debut of the Year. Her novel The Namesake was a New York Times Notable Book, a Los Angeles Times Book Prize finalist and was selected as one of the best books of the year by USA Today and Entertainment Weekly, among other publications. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.