Kamila Shamsie, Mohsin Hamid make it to Man Booker prize longlist

Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie and Exit West by Mohsin Hamid are among the 13 novels longlisted for the £50,000 award

News Desk July 27, 2017
Kamila Shamsie (L) and Mohsin Hamid (R)

Two British-Pakistani authors have been longlisted for the prestigious Man Booker prize.

Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie and Exit West by Mohsin Hamid are among the 13 novels longlisted for the £50,000 award.

Celebrated author, Arundhtati Roy who bagged the Man Booker prize for her debut novel, The God of Small Things, 20 years ago has also been longlisted for the prestigious award for her second book, The Ministry of Utmost Happiness.

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The longlist comprises of literary mavericks who have managed to earn Pulitizer, the Costa, the Baileys, the Folio, the Impac and the Goldsmiths prizes.

Roy is the only author to have won the Booker before and is listed for her novel about an Indian transgender woman, which judges called a rich and vital book. In an interview with the Guardian, Roy said, "Fiction just takes its time. It’s no hurry. I can’t write it faster or slower than I have; it’s like you’re a sedimentary rock that’s just gathering all these layers, and swimming around."

Ali Smith has been chosen for the humane, zany, delightful, optimistic post-EU referendum novel Autumn; Zadie Smith was picked for her story of the friendship and rivalry between two London girls who meet at a dance class, Swing Time; Sebastian Barry is in the running with Days Without End, about an Irish man who migrates to the US in the lead-up to the civil war; and Mohsin Hamid for Exit West, a love story set in a world where refugees use wormholes to travel from city to city, the Guardian reported.

With four UK, four US, two Irish, two UK-Pakistani and one Indian writer; seven men to six women; three debuts; and three novels from independent presses, chair of judges Baroness Lola Young shared that only when the judges surveyed the 13 remaining contenders that they realised the diversity of their list.

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"The longlist 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," said Young.

Young and her fellow judges will now reread the longlist of 13 titles to come up with a shortlist of six, which will be announced on September 13. The winner will be unveiled on October 17.

Here's the longlist for the 2017 Man Booker prize:

4321 by Paul Auster (Faber & Faber)

Days Without End by Sebastian Barry (Faber & Faber)

History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, Orion Books)

Exit West by Mohsin Hamid (Hamish Hamilton, Penguin Random House)

Solar Bones by Mike McCormack (Canongate)

Reservoir 13 by Jon McGregor (4th Estate, HarperCollins)

Elmet by Fiona Mozley (JM Originals, John Murray)

The Ministry of Utmost Happiness by Arundhati Roy (Hamish Hamilton, Penguin Random House)

Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders (Bloomsbury)

Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie (Bloomsbury)

Autumn by Ali Smith (Hamish Hamilton, Penguin Random House)

Swing Time by Zadie Smith(Hamish Hamilton, Penguin Random House)

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead (Fleet, Little, Brown)



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