Colm Tóibín makes shortlist for Man Booker Prize

Irish author Colm Tóibín has been shortlisted for the 2013 Man Booker Prize

Colm Tóibín is in the running for the 2013 Man Booker Prize

The shortlist for the Man Booker Prize was announced this month. The prize is the most prestigious of its kind given to writers of British, Irish or Commonwealth origins.

The shortlist comprises six novels chosen from a longlist of 13 novels. The shortlist is as follows: A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozek; Harvest by Jim Crace; The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri; The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton; The Testament of Mary by Colm Tóibín; We Need New Names by Noviolet Bulawayo.

This year’s list is being heralded as the most diverse yet; the novelists represent five different continents. There is also a strong female presence; four of the six writers are women.

Out of a possible three Irish writers named in the longlist, Colm Tóibín is the only one to make the shortlist. This is the Wexford writer’s third time being shortlisted. He is considered second favourite to take the prize by bookies.

Favourite to win is English writer Jim Crace. His offering, Harvest is being marketed as his last novel before he retires; a strange move but one we also saw American writer Philip Roth take earlier this year. Crace has been shortlisted before for his 1997 novel Quarantine.

Another favourite is Eleanor Catton’s second novel The Luminaries which, if she were to win, would make her the youngest ever winner at 28 years of age.

Of course, with the history of the prize in mind both Noviolet Bulawayo with her debut novel and Ruth Ozeki are serious contenders. The Man Booker has a tradition of looking to grab headlines and announcing shock winners and critics argue that it it isn’t always the best novel that wins.

The winner of the 2013 Man Booker Prize will be announced October 15.

Photo: Peter Bevan/Flickr.

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