The six authors shortlisted for this year’s Man Booker Prize for Fiction are all of different nationalities for the first time in the prestigious literary award’s history, with Zimbabwe making its debut in the shape of NoViolet Bulawayo.
The £50,000 prize for fiction will pit her against Canadian, British, Irish, Indian-American and New Zealand writers.
Bookmaker Ladbrokes installed Jim Crace, 67, the British author of Harvest, as favourite, closely followed by Ireland’s Colm Toibin, who wrote The Testament of Mary, which is just 101 pages long. At the other end of the scale is Kiwi Eleanor Catton, 27, whose book, The Luminaries stretched to 832 pages. She would be the youngest author to win the prize if her name is read out at the award ceremony on 15 October.
Canadian Buddhist monk Ruth Ozeki also made the cut, along with Pulitzer Prize-winning Jhumpa Lahiri, who was born to Indian parents in London but emigrated to the US. She is a member of Barack Obama’s president’s committee on the arts and humanities.