Amitav Ghosh on Tuesday emerged as the only Indian author among 10 finalists for this year’s Man Booker International Prize for his contribution to the English language writing.
Kolkata born, 58-year-old Ghosh had narrowly missed out on the Booker Prize back in 2008 when he was shortlisted for his work ‘Sea of Poppies’.
The international version of the popular literary prize, to be held in London on May 19, is awarded every two years to a living author who has published fiction either originally in English or whose work is generally available in translation in the English language.
The winner is chosen solely at the discretion of the judging panel and there are no submissions from publishers.
“This is a most interesting and enlightening list of finalists,” said Jonathan Taylor, Chairman of the Booker Prize Foundation.
“For the first time authors included in the list are from 10 countries with six new nationalities,” said Taylor.
They are from Libya, Mozambique, Guadeloupe, Hungary, South Africa and Congo and the proportion of writers translated into English is greater than ever before at 80 per cent.
It brings attention to writers from far and wide, so many of whom are in translation.
The others on the list include from Argentina, Lebanon, Guadeloupe, Mozambique, the United States of America, Libya, Hungary, Republic of Congo and South Africa.
“The judges have had an exhilarating experience reading for this prize we have ranged across the world and entered the vision of writers who offer an extraordinary variety of experiences,” said Prof Marina Warner, chair of the judging panel.
The awards comes with a 60,000 pounds cheque and can be won only once in an author’s lifetime.
In addition, there is a separate award for translation and, if applicable and in accordance with the rules of the separate prize for translation, the winner may choose a translator of his or her work into English to receive a prize of 15,000 pounds.