Kolkata-born author Neel Mukherjee’s second novel The Lives of Others has been nominated for 2014 Man Booker Prize.
The locale for the London-based author’s novel is Kolkata, then Calcutta, of the 1960s. Published by Chatto & Windus in May 2014, the plot follows the young Supratik as he explores the social divisions of that time, and turns towards Communism, even as his family holds on to a different set of ideals.
Mukherjee’s first novel, Past Continuous (Picador India, 2008), was the joint winner of the Vodafone-Crossword Award along with Amitav Ghosh’s Sea of Poppies. The UK edition of the novel, titled A Life Apart, was published by Constable & Robinson in January 2010.
It won the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain Award for Best Fiction and was shortlisted for the inaugural DSC Prize for South Asian Fiction and the Southbank Sky Arts Award. It was also chosen as a ‘Book of the Year’ by several international newspapers.
Set in India during the 1970s and ‘80s, in England in the ‘90s and in Raj Bengal in the 1900s, Past Continuous/A Life Apart was about dislocation and alienation, and unconscious intersections of lives.
The 2014 Man Booker longlist, which was announced on Tuesday, features American authors for the very first time. The shortlist will be announced on September 9 and the winner on October 14.