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Shortlist Revealed For Man Booker Fiction Prize

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September 15-30, 2005 Edition

Shortlist Revealed

For Man Booker

Fiction Prize

LONDON/9/8/05—The shortlist for the Man Booker Prize for Fiction 2005 was announced on Sept 8. Six finalists will be chosen from the 17 that made the longlist on Aug 10. The overall winner, to be announced on Oct 19, will receive £50,000 (RM345,000), while each shortlisted author will get £2,500 (RM17,250).

Now in its thirty-seventh year, the prize aims to reward the best novel of the year written by a citizen of the British Commonwealth or the Republic of Ireland. The Man Booker judges are selected from the country’s finest critics, writers and academics to maintain the consistent excellence of the prize. The winner of the Man Booker Prize receives £50,000 and both the winner and the shortlisted authors are guaranteed a worldwide readership plus a dramatic increase in book sales.

The Booker, now in its 37th year, is said to represent “the very best in contemporary fiction”. The award, which often makes bestsellers of winning works, will be judged by a panel comprising John Sutherland (chair); Lindsay Duguid, fiction editor of the Times Literary Supplement; Rick Gekoski, writer and antiquarian book dealer; novelist Josephine Hart; and David Sexton, literary editor of The Evening Standard. Last year’s winner was Alan Hollinghurst, for The Line of Beauty.

This year’s long list of 17 books was selected from 109 entries and includes Malaysian author Tash Aw’s debut novel, The Harmony Silk Factory. The long list was then narrowed to six finalists, including:

Author Title Publisher Banville, John The Sea Picador Barnes, Julian Arthur & George Jonathan Cape Barry, Sebastian A Long Long Way Faber & Faber Ishiguro, Kazuo Never Let Me Go Faber & Faber Smith, Ali The Accidental Hamish Hamilton Smith, Zadie On Beauty Hamish Hamilton

John Sutherland, Chair of Judges, said, “The selection of a shortlist, the judges felt, was an unusually difficult process this year. There was sufficient quality for two distinguished lists. We were aware that the rules require that the award be to the best novel. The strength of the year’s competition can be measured by the fact that three good books by previous Man Booker winners were finally not selected. This shortlist, we believe, witnesses to the remarkable quality of the current state of fiction. We look forward to the final round.”

The winner receives £50,000 with a guaranteed increase in sales and recognition worldwide. Each of the six shortlisted authors, including the winner, receives £2,500 and a designer bound edition of their own book.

The judging panel for the 2005 Man Booker Prize for Fiction is: John Sutherland (Chair); fiction editor of the Times Literary Supplement, Lindsay Duguid; writer and antiquarian book dealer, Rick Gekoski; novelist, Josephine Hart; and literary editor of The Evening Standard, David Sexton.

The winner will be announced on Monday, October 10 at an awards ceremony at Guildhall, London and will be broadcast live on BBC TWO.

For more on the prize, visit www.themanbookerprize.com.