Man Booker Prize 2013 shortlist announced: Jim Crace leads the six authors with his swan song Harvest

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

 

The shortlist for this year's Man Booker Prize has been announced with Jim Crace already being touted as the "marginal favourite" to take the top literary prize.

He is shortlisted for Harvest, a novel about the fragile social eco-system of a remote English village, which the author has claimed will be his last.

Crace, who was shortlisted once before for Quarantine in 1997, is joined on the list by NoViolet Bulawayo. Her novel, We Need New Names, is about a group of children in Zimbabwe with unusual names: Darling, Chipo, Bastard, Bornfree, Forgiveness and Messenger.

Click here or on "View Images" for the shortlist in pictures

Irish writer Colm Tóibín is another established name (having previously been shortlisted twice), nominated for The Testament of Mary, a short novel about a mother whose son is brutally killed. At just 104 pages it would be the briefest Booker winner yet if it were to take the prize.

The youngest on the shortlist, Eleanor Catton, 27, won her place for second novel, The Luminaries, which is out later this month. Set in 1866 New Zealand, it is a tale of ghosts, murder, smuggling and conspiracy during the Victorian gold rush.

Pulitzer Prize for Fiction winner Jhumpa Lahiri's The Lowland is also on the list. The Indian American author, a member of President Barack Obama's President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities, provides a glimpse of the suburban streets of Calcutta through the eyes of Subhash who is divided from his rebel Naxalite brother Udayan.

Japanese-American Ruth Ozeki, a practising Zen Buddhist priest, completes the shortlist of six with her novel A Tale for the Time Being -  about a woman who discovers, and is profoundly influenced by reading, a Hello Kitty diary washed ashore inside a lunchbox.

"There's a pleasing diversity to the shortlist: they’re six very different books, in terms of both settings and writing styles... But while each of the shortlist offers something memorably unique, I think the judges' debate will ultimately be between Jim Crace and Eleanor Catton," remarks Jonathan Ruppin, web editor for Foyles.

Harvest, with its fragile lyricism, is the crowning achievement of Crace's consistently outstanding career, while Catton is pushing the boundaries of what fiction can achieve, bringing the vagaries of astrology and the intricacies of the Golden Ratio into the very fabric of how she put The Luminaries together. I've not read anything, Man Booker nominated or not, that comes close to either this year.

“Either book would be a thoroughly deserving winner, but Crace is probably the marginal favourite, if only because it's easier to imagine five people concurring about Harvest than The Luminaries."

Chair of the Booker judges, Robert Macfarlane, remarked on the shortlist's "global range" which he said "shows the English language novel to be a form of world literature".

Macfarlane told this morning's press conference: "We looked for books that sought to extend the power and possibility of the form. This is in keeping with the history of the novel. We wanted novel novels."

He described the judging process as "more UN than Dodge City" adding: "Our tools were evidence, advocacy and debate."

A spokesman for booksellers Waterstones said: "With a multicultural shortlist dominated by women I think the bookies may be wrong this time.

"It's five years since the last 'surprise' winner - The White Tiger - and I think this shortlist gives the judges a lot of options.

The Bookseller's fiction previewer Cathy Rentzenbrink commented that it was a "very exciting" shortlist. She said: "Eleanor Catton's The Luminaries and Jim Crace's Harvest seem to be very clearly fancied, and considered particularly exceptional. I'd also say that Nao, a character who features in Ruth Ozeki's A Tale for the Time Being, is the most compelling character I've come across all year."

The six shortlisted authors will receive £2,500 and be presented with a hard-bound edition of their book.

The Booker Prize winner, announced in mid October, will receive £50,000.

Last year's winner was Hilary Mantel for Bring Up the Bodies. She became only the third author, after Peter Carey and J.M. Coetzee, to win the prize twice.

Man Booker Prize 2013 shortlist in full:

We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo

The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton

Harvest by Jim Crace

The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri

A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki

The Testament of Mary by Colm Toibin

Suggested Topics
Arts and Entertainment
Attenborough with the primates
tvWhy BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Arts and Entertainment
Drake continues to tease ahead of the release of his new album
music
Arts and Entertainment
Former Communards frontman Jimmy Somerville
music
Arts and Entertainment
Secrets of JK Rowling's Harry Potter workings have been revealed in a new bibliography
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Fearne Cotton is leaving Radio 1 after a decade
radio The popular DJ is leaving for 'family and new adventures'
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
Olivia Colman and David Tennant star in 'Broadchurch'

TVViewers predict what will happen to Miller and Hardy
Arts and Entertainment
Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright in season two of the series

Watch the new House of Cards series three trailer

TV
Arts and Entertainment
An extract from the sequel to Fight Club

books
Arts and Entertainment
David Tennant, Eve Myles and Olivia Colman in Broadchurch series two

TV Review
Arts and Entertainment
Old dogs are still learning in 'New Tricks'

TV
Arts and Entertainment
'Tonight we honour Hollywood’s best and whitest – sorry, brightest' - and other Neil Patrick Harris Oscars jokes

Oscars 2015It was the first time Barney has compered the Academy Awards

Arts and Entertainment
Patricia Arquette making her acceptance speech for winning Best Actress Award

Oscars 2015 From Meryl Streep whooping Patricia Arquette's equality speech to Chris Pine in tears

Arts and Entertainment

Oscars 2015 Mexican filmmaker uses speech to urge 'respect' for immigrants

Arts and Entertainment
The Oscar nominations are due to be announced today

Oscars 2015 Bringing you all the news from the 87th Academy Awards

Arts and Entertainment
Lloyd-Hughes takes the leading role as Ralph Whelan in Channel 4's epic new 10-part drama, Indian Summers

TV Review

The intrigue deepens as we delve further but don't expect any answers just yet
Arts and Entertainment
Jason Segal and Cameron Diaz star in Sex Tape

Razzies 2015 Golden Raspberry Awards 'honours' Cameron Diaz and Kirk Cameron

Arts and Entertainment
The Oscars ceremony 2015 will take place at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles
Oscars 2015A quiz to whet your appetite for tonight’s 87th Academy Awards
Arts and Entertainment
Sigourney Weaver, as Ripley, in Alien; critics have branded the naming of action movie network Movies4Men as “offensive” and “demographic box-ticking gone mad”.
TVNaming of action movie network Movies4Men sparks outrage
Arts and Entertainment
Sleater Kinney perform at the 6 Music Festival at the O2 Academy, Newcastle
musicReview: 6 Music Festival
News
Kristen Stewart reacts after receiving the Best Actress in a Supporting Role award for her role in 'Sils Maria' at the 40th annual Cesar awards
people
News
A lost Sherlock Holmes story has been unearthed
arts + ents Walter Elliot, an 80-year-old historian, found it in his attic,
Arts and Entertainment
Margot Robbie rose to fame starring alongside Leonardo DiCaprio in The Wolf of Wall Street

Film Hollywood's new leading lady talks about her Ramsay Street days

Arts and Entertainment
Right note: Sam Haywood with Simon Usborne page turning
musicSimon Usborne discovers it is under threat from the accursed iPad
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

    The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

    Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
    Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

    Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

    The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
    A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

    It's not easy being Green

    After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
    Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

    Gorillas nearly missed

    BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
    Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

    The Downton Abbey effect

    Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
    China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

    China's wild panda numbers on the up

    New census reveals 17% since 2003
    Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

    Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

    Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
    Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

    Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

    Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
    Alexander McQueen: The catwalk was a stage for the designer's astonishing and troubling vision

    Alexander McQueen's astonishing vision

    Ahead of a major retrospective, Alexander Fury talks to the collaborators who helped create the late designer's notorious spectacle
    New BBC series savours half a century of food in Britain, from Vesta curries to nouvelle cuisine

    Dinner through the decades

    A new BBC series challenged Brandon Robshaw and his family to eat their way from the 1950s to the 1990s
    Philippa Perry interview: The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course

    Philippa Perry interview

    The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef recreates the exoticism of the Indonesian stir-fry

    Bill Granger's Indonesian stir-fry recipes

    Our chef was inspired by the south-east Asian cuisine he encountered as a teenager
    Chelsea vs Tottenham: Harry Kane was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope

    Harry Kane interview

    The striker was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope
    The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
    HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

    Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

    Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?