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Kiran Desai shortlisted for Booker Prize

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September 15, 2006 08:32 IST
Kiran Desai's The Inheritance of Loss is among the six novels shortlisted for this year's Man Booker Prize, the most important British award for literature.

Kate Grenville's The Secret River, M J Hyland's Carry Me Down, Hisham Matar's In the Country of Men, Edward St Aubyn's Mother's Milk and Sarah Waters' The Night Watch are the other books in contention for the much coveted literay prize.

Speaking to last month about what it meant for her novel to be on the shortlist of 19 books from which the final six would be chosen, Kiran said, "My mother and I were chatting about the Booker and she said never mind the nominations and awards, a writer has to focus on the work at hand, or the plan to write the next book. Everything else comes next."

Kiran's mother, Anita Desai, the eminent Indian novelist, was nominated thrice for the Booker Prize, but never won.

The last Indian to win the Booker Prize was Arundhati Roy in 1997, for her novel, God of Small Things.

The Booker Prize comes with a cheque for 50,000 British pounds (about $95,000/Rs 50 lakhs).

"A Booker nomination means getting more attention to your book which is not an easy thing considering that your book is set in India," Kiran said. "There are many British writers of Indian origin who get a lot of attention because they happen to be there."

'Judging the Man Booker Prize puts you through almost as many emotions as there are in the novels,' Hermione Lee, the chair of the judges said in an earlier statement, adding, 'We have tried to be careful and critical judges as well as being passionately involved. We have many regrets about some of the novels we have left off, but we are delighted by the variety, the originality, the drama and craft, the human interest and the strong voices.'

Rediff News Bureau