Rushdie, Ghosh named in 2008 Booker longlist

July 29th, 2008 - 10:57 pm ICT by IANS  

London, July 29 (IANS) The latest novels of Indian-born writers Salman Rushdie and Amitav Ghosh have been named in a longlist of 13 books for the 2008 Man Booker Prize for Fiction announced Tuesday. Rushdie has been entered for “The Enchantress of Florence”, described by some critics as his best since the much-decorated “Midnight’s Children”, whereas Ghosh won an entry for his acclaimed “Sea of Poppies”.

The longlist, often referred to as the Man Booker Dozen, was chosen from 112 entries.

The titles are: “The White Tiger” by Aravind Adiga; “Girl in a Blue Dress” by Gaynor Arnold; “The Secret Scripture” by Sebastian Barry; “From A to X” by John Berger; “The Lost Dog” by Michelle de Kretser; “Sea of Poppies” by Amitav Ghosh; “The Clothes on Their Backs” by Linda Grant; “A Case of Exploding Mangoes” by Mohammed Hanif; “The Northern Clemency” by Philip Hensher; “Netherland” by Joseph O’Neill; “The Enchantress of Florence” by Salman Rushdie; “Child 44″ by Tom Rob Smith; and “A Fraction of the Whole” by Steve Toltz.

Chair of judges, former British minister Michael Portillo, commented: “The judges are pleased with the geographical balance of the longlist with writers from Pakistan, India, Australia, Ireland and the UK.

“We also are happy with the interesting mix of books, five first novels and two novels by former winners. The list covers an extraordinary variety of writing. Still two qualities emerge this year: large scale narrative and the striking use of humour.”

The judging panel for the 2008 Man Booker Prize for Fiction is: Michael Portillo (chair), former MP and cabinet minister, Alex Clark, editor of Granta; Louise Doughty, novelist; James Heneage, founder of Ottakar’s bookshops, and Hardeep Singh Kohli, TV and radio broadcaster.

The 2008 shortlist will be unveiled Sep 9 and the winner will be announced Oct 14.

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