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Man Booker Prize Shortlist 2013 announced

Man Booker Prize Shortlist 2013 announced

At the time of the longlist, Chair of judges Robert Macfarlane praised the diversity of the books in contention for the prize as ‘wonderfully various in terms of geography, form, length and subject’. This remains true of the shortlist, with the six writers hailing from across the globe: Canada, Britain, Ireland, New Zealand and, for the first time in the prize’s history, Zimbabwe.


The six books, whittled down from a longlist of 13, are:


Author Title (Publisher)


NoViolet Bulawayo We Need New Names (Chatto & Windus)

Eleanor Catton The Luminaries (Granta)

Jim Crace Harvest (Picador)

Jhumpa Lahiri The Lowland (Bloomsbury)

Ruth Ozeki A Tale for the Time Being (Canongate)

Colm Tóibín The Testament of Mary (Viking)


The shortlist was announced by Robert Macfarlane, at a press conference held at the Man Group’s London headquarters. He comments:


‘Global in its reach, this exceptional shortlist demonstrates the vitality and range of the contemporary novel at its finest. These six superb works of fiction take us from gold-rush New Zealand to revolutionary Calcutta, from modern-day Japan to the Holy Land of the Gospels, and from Zimbabwe to the deep English countryside. World-spanning in their concerns, and ambitious in their techniques, they remind us of the possibilities and power of the novel as a form.’


Two writers have appeared on the shortlist before: Jim Crace was shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 1997 for Quarantine (Viking), while Colm Tóibín has been shortlisted twice: for The Blackwater Lightship in 1999 and in 2004 with The Master.

It is the first time each of the four female writers has been nominated for the prize. They count amongst them a Buddhist priest (Ozeki), a member of Barack Obama’s President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities (Lahiri) and the first Zimbabwean writer to make the shortlist (Bulawayo). Eleanor Catton, who will be 28 at the time of the winner announcement, is the youngest on the shortlist.


Macfarlane was joined at the shortlist press conference by the four other members of the 2013 Man Booker Prize judging panel: the renowned broadcaster Martha Kearney; critic, academic and prize-winning biographer, Robert Douglas-Fairhurst; broadcaster, classicist and critic, Natalie Haynes and Stuart Kelly, essayist and former literary editor of Scotland on Sunday. The judges now have just over a month to re-read the shortlisted titles and select one winner, who will be announced on 15 October 2013 at the winner’s ceremony at London’s Guildhall.


In the meantime, the six authors are due to appear at a number of public events in the run up to the winner announcement. They include: an event for members of the public and UK library staff at the newly opened Library of Birmingham on Wednesday 9 October; a talk and signing at The Times Cheltenham Literature Festival on Saturday 12 October and an audience with the authors at the Southbank Centre on Sunday 13 October, hosted by broadcaster Mark Lawson. Finally, there will be an audience with the winner at Apple’s Regent Street branch on Thursday 17 October.


At the ceremony, which will be broadcast by the BBC, the six authors will each be presented with a cheque for £2,500 and a hand-bound edition of their book, prepared by some of the UK’s leading bookbinders. In addition, the winner receives £50,000.


2013 marks the 45th year of the Man Booker Prize. It was first awarded to P.H. Newby for Something to Answer For in 1969. Last year’s winner, Hilary Mantel, has made history as the first woman and the first British author to win the prize twice. Her two winning novels – Bring Up the Bodies and Wolf Hall – have sold over 1.5 million copies. She is the first Man Booker Prize winning author to take the number spot in the official UK Top 50, with the mass-market edition of Bring Up the Bodies.


Further information about the prize can be found on the Man Booker Prize website Daily updates are available on Twitter @ManBookerPrize / #ManBookerPrize.


For all press enquiries please contact:


Amy Barder or Katy MacMillan-Scott at Four Colman Getty

020 3697 4251/ 07956 337231 (Amy)

020 3697 4253/ 07786 567887 (Katy)


The Shortlist


We Need New Names

By NoViolet Bulawayo         

Published by Chatto & Windus (£14.99)


We Need New Names tells the story of Darling and her friends Stina, Chipo, Godknows, Sbho and Bastard. They all used to have proper houses, with real rooms and furniture, but now they all live in a shanty called Paradise. They spend their days stealing guavas, playing games and wondering how to get the baby out of young Chipo’s stomach. They dream of escaping to other paradises – America, Dubai, Europe. But if they do escape, will these new lands bring everything they wish for?


NoViolet Bulawayo was born in Tsholotsho, Zimbabwe, on 12 October 1981. She earned her MFA at Cornell University, where she was also awarded a Truman Capote Fellowship, and she is currently a Stegner Fellow at Stanford University in California. She is the author of the short story Hitting Budapest (2010), which won the 2011 Caine Prize for African Writing, and Snapshots (2009), shortlisted for the South Africa PEN Studzinsi Award. Her latest novel, We Need New Names, was published on 6 June 2013.


For further information, please contact Lisa Gooding at Chatto & Windus

Tel: 0207 840 8677, email: [email protected]


The Luminaries

By Eleanor Catton

Published by Granta (£18.99)


It is 1866, and Walter Moody has come to make his fortune upon the New Zealand goldfields.  On arrival, he stumbles across a tense gathering of twelve local men, who have met in secret to discuss a series of unsolved crimes.  A wealthy man has vanished, a whore has tried to end her life, and an enormous fortune has been discovered in the home of a luckless drunk.  Moody is soon drawn into the mystery: a network of fates and fortunes that is as complex and exquisitely patterned as the night sky.


Eleanor Catton was born on 24 September 1985 in Canada and raised in New Zealand. She holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop, where she also held an adjunct professorship, and an MA in fiction writing from the International Institute of Modern Letters. She currently lives in Auckland, New Zealand. Her debut novel The Rehearsal (2008) was shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award and the Dylan Thomas Prize, and longlisted for the Orange Prize. It has since been published in 17 territories and 12 languages. Her latest novel The Luminaries was published on 5 September 2013.


For further information, please contact Colin Midson at Granta

Tel: 0207 605 1373, email: [email protected]



By Jim Crace

Published by Picador (£16.99)


As late summer steals in and the final pearls of barley are gleaned, a village comes under threat. A trio of outsiders – two men and a dangerously magnetic woman – arrives on the woodland borders and puts up a make-shift camp. That same night, the local manor house is set on fire. Over the course of seven days, Walter Thirsk sees his hamlet unmade: the harvest blackened by smoke and fear, the new arrivals cruelly punished, and his neighbours held captive on suspicion of witchcraft. But something even darker is at the heart of his story, and he will be the only man left to tell it . . .


Jim Crace was born in Hertfordshire on 1 March 1946. He read English Literature at London University and worked for VSO in Sudan as an assistant in Sudanese educational television. He began writing fiction in 1974 and his first story, Annie, California Plates, was published by the New Review. He became Writer in Residence at the Midlands Arts Centre and in 1983 he directed the first Birmingham Festival of Readers and Writers.  His first book, Continent (1986), won the Whitbread First Novel Award, the Guardian Fiction Prize and the David Higham Prize for Fiction.  His fourth novel, Signals of Distress (1994) won the Winifred Holtby Memorial Prize. Quarantine (1997) was shortlisted for the Booker Prize for Fiction. Being Dead (1999) won the Whitbread Novel Award, the National Book Critics’ Circle Fiction Award (USA) and was shortlisted for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award.  He was awarded the E. M. Forster Award by the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1992 and became a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 1999. His latest book, Harvest, was published on 14 February 2013.


For further information, please contact Emma Bravo at Picador

Tel: 0207 014 6184, email: [email protected]


The Lowland

By Jhumpa Lahiri

Published by Bloomsbury (£16.99)


Brothers Subhash and Udayan are close in age and utterly inseparable as children in Calcutta. Yet, as the years pass – as U.S tanks roll into Vietnam, as riots sweep across India and the Communist movement begins to take root – Udayan’s increasingly radical beliefs will transform the futures of those dearest to him: his newly married, pregnant wife, his brother and their parents. For all of them, the repercussions of his actions will reverberate across continents and seep through the generations that follow. Epic in scope and intimate in its portrayal of lives undone and forged anew, The Lowland is a deeply felt novel of family ties that entangle and fray in ways unforeseen.


Jhumpa Lahiri was born on 11 July 1967 in London. She is a member of the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities, appointed by U.S. President Barack Obama. She is the author of four works of fiction: Interpreter of Maladies (1999), which won the 2000 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction; The Namesake (2003), adapted into the popular film of the same name; Unaccustomed Earth (2008); and The Lowland, which was published on 8 September 2013.


For further information, please contact Madeleine Feeney at Bloomsbury

Tel: 020 7631 5718, email: [email protected]


A Tale for the Time Being

By Ruth Ozeki

Published by Canongate (£20)


Ruth discovers a Hello Kitty lunchbox washed up on the shore of her beach home. Within it lies a diary that expresses the hopes and dreams of a young girl. She suspects it might have arrived on a drift of debris from the 2011 tsunami. With every turn of the page, she is sucked deeper into an enchanting mystery. In a small cafe in Tokyo, 16-year-old Nao Yasutani is navigating the challenges thrown up by modern life. In the face of cyberbullying, the mysteries of a 104-year-old Buddhist nun and great-grandmother, and the joy and heartbreak of family, Nao is trying to find her own place - and voice - through a diary she hopes will find a reader and friend who finally understands her.


Ruth Ozeki was born on 12 March 1956 in New Haven, Connecticut, and raised by an American father and a Japanese mother. She studied English and Asian Studies at Smith College. In June 2010 she was ordained as a Zen Buddhist priest. With a Canadian passport, she divides her time between British Columbia and New York. She is the author of three novels: My Year of Meats (1998), which won the Kiriyama Pacific Rim Award, the Imus/Barnes and Noble American Book Award, and a Special Jury Prize of the World Cookbook Awards in Versailles; All Over Creation (2002), the recipient of a 2004 American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation, as well as the Willa Literary Award for Contemporary Fiction; and A Tale for the Time Being, which was published on 11 March 2013.


For further information, please contact Anna Frame at Canongate

Tel: 0131 5249 340, email: [email protected]


The Testament of Mary

By Colm Tóibín

Published by Viking (£7.99)


In a voice that is both tender and filled with rage, The Testament of Mary tells the story of a cataclysmic event which led to an overpowering grief. For Mary, her son has been lost to the world, and now, living in exile and in fear, she tries to piece together the memories of the events that led to her son's brutal death. To her he was a vulnerable figure, surrounded by men who could not be trusted, living in a time of turmoil and change. As her life and her suffering begin to acquire the resonance of myth, Mary struggles to break the silence surrounding what she knows to have happened. In her effort to tell the truth in all its gnarled complexity, she slowly emerges as a figure of immense moral stature as well as a woman from history rendered now as fully human.


Colm Tóibín was born in Enniscorthy, Co Wexford, on 30 May 1955 and educated at University College Dublin. He is the author of five novels: The South, (1990) winner of The Irish Times Literature Prize in 1991; The Heather Blazing, winner of the Encore Award for the best second novel in 1992; The Story of the Night (1997); The Blackwater Lightship (1999), shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize; and The Master (2004), shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and winner of the Los Angeles Times Novel of the Year and the Prix du Meilleur Livre Etranger in France; and The Testament of Mary, which was published on 4 July 2013. Tóibín’s books have been translated into 25 languages.


For further information, please contact Katherine Stroud 

Tel: 07780 112 964, email: [email protected]


Notes to Editors

The six shortlisted books were chosen from a longlist of 13 books. They were:


Author Title (Publisher)


Tash Aw Five Star Billionaire (Fourth Estate)

NoViolet Bulawayo We Need New Names (Chatto & Windus)

Eleanor Catton The Luminaries (Granta)

Jim Crace Harvest (Picador)

Eve Harris The Marrying of Chani Kaufman (Sandstone Press)

Richard House The Kills (Picador) 

Jhumpa Lahiri The Lowland (Bloomsbury)

Alison MacLeod Unexploded (Hamish Hamilton) 

Colum McCann TransAtlantic (Bloomsbury) 

Charlotte Mendelson Almost English (Mantle) 

Ruth Ozeki A Tale for the Time Being (Canongate)

Donal Ryan The Spinning Heart (Doubleday)

Colm Tóibín The Testament of Mary (Viking)


The longlisted books were selected from a total of 151 titles, 14 of which were called in by the judges

Each year UK publishers may submit two full-length novels written by a citizen of the Commonwealth, the Republic of Ireland or Zimbabwe and published between 1 October 2012 and 30 September 2013.  Any title by an author who has previously been shortlisted for the prize may be submitted

Hilary Mantel won the 2012 Man Booker Prize for Fiction with Bring Up the Bodies (Fourth Estate). The book has now sold over half a million copies in the UK in hard copy alone

The Man Booker Prize for Fiction was first awarded in 1969 and has been sponsored by the Man Group since 2002. The long-term future of the prize was secured in 2011 with the announcement of a renewed 10 year sponsorship from the Man Group. The title ‘Booker Prize’ therefore only applies to prize years 1969 – 2001, before Man Group plc’s sponsorship began.  It would be greatly appreciated if you could ensure that your editorial is factually correct by referring to the prize’s full title at least once, if not in the headline, then in your next subsequent mention.  For a full history of the prize including previous winners, shortlisted authors and judges visit the website:

The Booker Prize Foundation Advisory Committee, which advises on any changes to the rules and on the selection of the judges, represents all aspects of the book world.   Its members are:

Ion Trewin, Chair (Literary Director, Booker Prize Foundation); Richard Cable, publisher; Mark Chilton, Company Secretary and General Counsel of Booker Group plc; Emmanuel Roman, Chief Executive, Man; Jonathan Douglas, Director of the National Literacy Trust; Maggie Fergusson, writer and Secretary of the Royal Society of Literature; Basil Comely, BBC TV; Derek Johns, literary agent; Peter Kemp, Chief Fiction Reviewer, The Sunday Times; James Daunt,  Managing Director of Waterstones; Nigel Newton, publisher; Fiammetta Rocco, literary editor, The Economist (Man Booker International Prize Administrator); Eve Smith (Company Secretary, the Booker Prize Foundation); and Robert Topping; Topping & Company Booksellers.

The Booker Prize Foundation is a registered charity (no 1090049) which, since 2002, has been responsible for the award of the prize. The trustees of the Booker Prize Foundation are former Chairman of Booker plc, Jonathan Taylor CBE (Chair); Lord Baker of Dorking CH; writer, critic and broadcaster, Bidisha; playwright and President of the Royal Literary Fund, Sir Ronald Harwood CBE; former Chair of the British Council and Principal of Mansfield College, Oxford, Baroness Kennedy QC; Professor of Creative Writing, Royal Holloway College University of London and former Poet Laureate, Sir Andrew Motion; broadcaster, James Naughtie; biographer, Victoria Glendinning CBE and former Finance Director of Rentokil plc, Christopher Pearce. Martyn Goff CBE, former Man Booker Prize administrator, is President of the Foundation and Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne and Baroness Neuberger are Vice Presidents.  

Man is a world-leading alternative investment management business. It has expertise in a wide range of liquid investment styles including managed futures, equity, credit and convertibles, emerging markets, global macro and multi-manager, combined with powerful product structuring, distribution and client service capabilities. As at 30 June 2013, Man managed $52.0 billion.

The original business was founded in 1783. Today, Man is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a member of the FTSE 250 Index with a market capitalisation of around £1.5 billion. Man is a signatory to the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI). Man also supports many awards, charities and initiatives around the world, including sponsoring the Man Booker literary prizes. Further information can be found at

Booker is the UK's leading food wholesaler with over 170 branches nationwide.  It serves over 350,000 independent businesses

The Booker Prize Foundation has a longstanding partnership with the RNIB, and the Foundation funds the production by RNIB of the shortlist in formats for the visually impaired including braille, giant print and Talking Books

The Booker Prize Archive was given on loan in 2003 to Oxford Brookes University where it now resides. Materials from the archive were displayed for the first time this summer in the University’s new Glass Tank exhibition space. The exhibition was curated by Gallery Manager and Exhibitions Curator Dr Joanna Walker with assistance from Archivist Eleanor Possart and a small team of undergraduate students.  


Four Colman Getty

September 2013