September 11 – September 18, 2008 Edition Debut Novelists Shortlisted
For Man Booker Prize

LONDON/9/9/2008–The Man Booker Prize 2008 shortlist was announced Tuesday September 9.Two first-time novelists, Aravind Adiga and Steve Toltz, survived the cull of the longlist from thirteen novels to just six. Previous winners of the Booker Prize, John Berger and Salman Rushdie, failed to make this year’s shortlist and Sebastian Barry is the only novelist shortlisted for this year’s prize to have been previously shortlisted (in 2005).

Linda Grant, winner of the Orange Prize for Fiction in 2000 and longlisted for the Booker Prize in 2002, is the only female author to make the shortlist of six. She is joined by Philip Hensher, longlisted for the Booker Prize in 2002 and a Booker judge in 2001, and the widely-acclaimed Indian writer Amitav Ghosh.   

The Man Booker Prize 2008 shortlisted novels are:

Aravind Adiga The White Tiger  (Atlantic)                             
Sebastian Barry The Secret Scripture (Faber and Faber)                        
Amitav Ghosh Sea of Poppies (John Murray)                                  
Linda Grant The Clothes on Their Backs (Virago)             
Philip Hensher The Northern Clemency (Fourth Estate)                    
Steve Toltz A Fraction of the Whole (Hamish Hamilton)

This year’s judging panel is chaired by Michael Portillo former MP and Cabinet Minister. He is joined by Alex Clark, editor of Granta; Louise Doughty, novelist; James Heneage, founder of Ottakar’s bookshops and Hardeep Singh Kohli, TV and radio broadcaster.

Michael Portillo, Chair of judges, commented today: “The judges commend the six titles to readers with great enthusiasm. These novels are intensely readable, each of them an extraordinary example of imagination and narrative. These fine page-turning stories nonetheless raise highly thought-provoking ideas and issues. These books are in every case both ambitious and approachable.”

The judging panel had to read over 112 entries before whittling down the list to the Man Booker Dozen (13 titles) and then again to just six titles. They will meet to decide on the winning novel on Tuesday 14 October, and the author will be award the £50,000 prize money at an awards ceremony later on that evening at Guildhall, London.

See more at Mann Booker Prize