Arundhati Roy’s new novel in Man Booker long-list
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Arundhati Roy’s new novel in Man Booker long-list

First awarded in 1969, the prize is considered the leading honour for literary fiction written in English. Roy returns to the long-list after winning the prize in 1997.

india Updated: Jul 27, 2017 13:51 IST
Prasun Sonwalkar
Prasun Sonwalkar
Hindustan Times, London
Arundhati Roy,The Ministry of Utmost Happiness,Man Booker long-list
Indian novelist Arundhati Roy presents her book The Ministry of Utmost Happiness at the Parco della Musica Auditorium in Rome, on June 12(AP file)

Arundhati Roy has returned to the long-list of Man Booker prize for 2017, two decades after winning it, this time for her new novel The Ministry of Utmost Happiness, organisers of the prestigious £50,000 prize announced on Thursday.

This year’s long-list of 13 includes books by two writers of Pakistan origin, Kamila Shamsie and Mohsin Hamid. It was chosen from 144 submission published in the United Kingdom. The short-list will be announced on September 13 and the winner on October 17.

Roy, who won the prize in 1997 for her debut novel The God of Small Things is joined by four previously shortlisted writers: Ali Smith, Zadie Smith, Sebastian Barry and Mohsin Hamid. It is a third long-list appearance for Jon McGregor.

Chair of the judges, Lola Young, said: “Only when we’d finally selected our 13 novels did we fully realise the huge energy, imagination and variety in them as a group.The long-list showcases a diverse spectrum — not only of voices and literary styles but of protagonists too, in their culture, age and gender.”

Nevertheless we found there was a spirit common to all these novels: though their subject matter might be turbulent, their power and range were life-affirming – a tonic for our times.”

Together their authors — both recognised and new — explore an array of literary forms and techniques, from those working in a traditional vein to those who aim to move the walls of fiction”.

The 2017 Man Booker Prize Long List
  • 4 3 2 1by Paul Auster (US) (Faber & Faber)
  • Days Without Endby Sebastian Barry (Ireland) (Faber & Faber)
  • History of Wolvesby Emily Fridlund (US) (Weidenfeld & Nicolson)
  • Exit Westby Mohsin Hamid (Pakistan-UK) (Hamish Hamilton)
  • Solar Bonesby Mike McCormack (Ireland) (Canongate)
  • Reservoir 13by Jon McGregor (UK) (4thEstate)
  • Elmetby Fiona Mozley (UK) (JM Originals)
  • The Ministry Of Utmost Happinessby Arundhati Roy (India) (Hamish Hamilton)
  • Lincoln in the Bardoby George Saunders (US) (Bloomsbury)
  • Home Fireby Kamila Shamsie (UK-Pakistan) (Bloomsbury)
  • Autumnby Ali Smith (UK) (Hamish Hamilton)
  • Swing Timeby Zadie Smith (UK) (Hamish Hamilton)
  • The Underground RailroadbyColson Whitehead (US) (Fleet)

First awarded in 1969, the prize is considered the leading honour for literary fiction written in English. The list of former winners includes Arvind Adiga, Iris Murdoch, Salman Rushdie, Ian McEwan and Hilary Mantel.

The rules of the prize were changed at the end of 2013 to embrace the English language ‘in all its vigour, its vitality, its versatility and its glory’, opening it up to writers beyond the UK and Commonwealth.

First Published: Jul 27, 2017 13:48 IST