Adiga bookies’ favourite for Man Booker Prize

October 13th, 2008 - 7:54 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Oct 13 (IANS) Indian writer Aravinda Adiga, a literary debutant, has beaten fancied rivals to be named favourite by British bookies for the Man Booker Prize 2008, to be announced Tuesday. The winner will be announced at a ceremony expected to be attended by all six authors in the hunt.

British bookies, surprised at the exclusion of their longlist favourites Salman Rushdie and Joseph O’Neill from the shortlist, have hastily changed their odds.

Ladbrokes have Adiga as their favourite to win the coveted literary prize.

Ladbrokes spokesman Nick Weinberg said: “Punters had been going crazy for ‘Netherland’ and ‘The Enchantress of Florence’ in the lead up to the announcement.

“We’re breathing a huge sigh of relief as Joseph O’Neill and Salman Rushdie were the two worst results in our book.”

However, William Hill now has Sebastian Barry leading the field.

“We were convinced that the winner would be either Joseph O’Neill or Salman Rushdie and are amazed that neither even made the shortlist. As a result it looks like a very open competition with everyone in with a chance,” said William Hill spokesman Graham Sharpe.

Adiga and Amitav Ghosh are the two Indians in the shortlist.

Ghosh’s “Sea of Poppies” and Adiga’s “The White Tiger” pipped Rushdie’s “The Enchantress of Florence” to make the six novels in a shortlist full of fresh faces.

The winner, who will take away 50,000 pounds in prize money, will be chosen from among:

Aravind Adiga (”The White Tiger”), Sebastian Barry (”The Secret Scripture”), Amitav Ghosh (”Sea of Poppies”), Linda Grant (”The Clothes on Their Backs”), Philip Hensher (”The Northern Clemency”) and Steve Toltz (”A Fraction of the Whole”).

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