Neel Mukherjee longlisted for Man Booker prize

  • Prasun Sonwalkar, Hindustan Times, London
  • Updated: Jul 23, 2014 23:55 IST

Neel Mukherjee, a London-based writer whose recently published novel, The Lives of Others, won rave reviews, has been long-listed for the Man Booker prize 2014, which, for the first time, has admitted novels in English from across the globe.

Kolkata-born Mukherjee's novel, set in 1960s West Bengal, is his third novel. His first, Past Continuous, won the Vodafone-Crossword Award in India, the Writers' Guild of Great Britain Award for best fiction, and was shortlisted for the inaugural DSC Prize for South Asian Literature.

The longlist includes 13 books by four Americans, six Britons, two Irish writers and one Australian.

Man Booker trustees decided this year to change the rules which had previously allowed only British and Commonwealth authors to be considered for the prize.

One former Man Booker winner, Howard Jacobson, is on the longlist along with two previously shortlisted authors, Ali Smith and David Mitchell.

The longlist is: To Rise Again at a Decent Hour, Joshua Ferris (Viking); The Narrow Road to the Deep North, Richard Flanagan (Chatto & Windus); We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, Karen Joy Fowler (Serpent's Tail); The Blazing World, Siri Hustvedt (Sceptre); J, Howard Jacobson (Jonathan Cape); The Wake, Paul Kingsnorth (Unbound); The Bone Clocks, David Mitchell (Sceptre); The Lives of Others, Neel Mukherjee (Chatto & Windus); Us, David Nicholls (Hodder & Stoughton); The Dog, Joseph O'Neill (Fourth Estate); Orfeo, Richard Powers (Atlantic Books); How to be Both, Ali Smith (Hamish Hamilton); History of the Rain, Niall Williams (Bloomsbury).

The Man Booker, which is awarded to the best novel of the year in the opinion of the judges, is worth £50,000 to the winner. The shortlist will be announced on 9 September and the winner on 14 October.

The judges for this year's prize are Sarah Churchwell, Daniel Glaser, Jonathan Bate, Alastair Niven and Erica Wagner under the chairmanship of Anthony Grayling.

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