Asian authors make Man Booker Prize shortlist

Two Asian authors have made the shortlist for The Man Booker Prize 2007.

Mohsin Hamid, who spoke to TAWP last month and Indra Sinha are two of the final six authors to have made it on to this year’s shortlist. Following the announcement made on September 7, Howard Davies, Chair of Judges commented:

“Selecting a shortlist this year from what was widely seen as an exciting longlist was a tough challenge. We hope the choices we have made after passionate and careful consideration, will attract wide interest.”

Mohsin Hamid’s second novel, The Reluctant Fundamentalist traces the life and love of Changez, an idealistic young Muslim man who leaves Pakistan to pursue his education in the US. On graduation from Princeton, Changez is recruited to a top job on Wall Street, falls in love with an American woman, Erica, and hopes to achieve a position of status in elite Manhattan society. But post-9/11 he finds himself regarded with suspicion by his fellow New Yorkers and his budding relationship with Erica is overshadowed by her personal demons, as well as his own growing paranoia and resentment at the country he has made home. At just 35 Hamid is the youngest writer to have made the shortlist this year. 

Indra Sinha’s Animal’s People a story of the residents of Khaufpur who have lived a perilous existence after That Night. Their world is poisoned. Nobody has received compensation or help for the chemical leak, least of all Animal, as he is known, whose spine twisted at a young age, leaving him to walk on all fours. Though he inhabits a dark kind of half-life, he knows what love is. When Elli Barber arrives, an ‘Amrikan’ keen to set up a free clinic to help the victims of the disaster, deep suspicion arises amongst the community. Animal resolves to turn the situation to his advantage and starts to investigate Elli’s motives.

The winner receives £50,000 and can look forward to greatly increased sales and recognition worldwide. Each of the six shortlisted authors, including the winner, receives £2,500 and a designer bound edition of their own book.

The judging panel for the 2007 Man Booker Prize for Fiction is: Howard Davies, Director of the London School of Economics and Political Science; Wendy Cope, poet; Giles Foden, journalist and author; Ruth Scurr, biographer and critic and Imogen Stubbs, actor and writer.

The winner will be announced on Tuesday 16th October at an awards ceremony at the Guildhall, London.