Man Booker Announces Shortlist

At a press conference in London this morning, the Man Booker Prize Foundation announced the shortlist for the 2013 prize. The winner, who will receive 50,000 British pounds, or approximately $75,000, will be announced October 15.

The finalists are:

We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo (Chatto & Windus/Reagan Arthur Books)
The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton (Granta)
The Harvest by Jim Crace (Picador)
The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri (Bloomsbury)
A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki (Canongate)
The Testament of Mary by Colm Tóibín (Viking)
The judges selected the six finalists from a longlist of thirteen announced in July, a list that judge chair Robert Macfarlane called the most diverse in recent memory. The shortlist maintains that diversity, with the novelists hailing from New Zealand, England, Canada, Ireland, and Zimbabwe, and the time periods and settings spanning the biblical Middle East (Tóibín), contemporary Zimbabwe (Bulawayo), 19th-century New Zealand (Catton), 1960s India (Lahiri), 18th-century rural England (Crace), and modern Tokyo (Ozeki). The oldest author on the list is Jim Crace, at 67; the youngest, Eleanor Catton, is 28.

“It is an exceptionally international and exceptionally varied shortlist,” Macfarlane said. “What connects them is connection. They are all about ways of connecting: technological, familial, emotional and in one case elemental. There are also inevitably about connections in reverse: loss, grief, separation, exile and dispossession. In some ways, these novels are all about the strange ways in which people are brought together and the painful ways in which they are held apart.”

The Man Booker Prize is given annually for a book of fiction published in the previous year and written by a citizen of the United Kingdom, the British Commonwealth, or the Republic of Ireland.