The long list for the 2013 Man Booker Prize was recently announced, with 13 contenders vying for the top award.
Last year’s prize was won by popular author Hilary Mantel for her novel “Bring Up the Bodies,” which followed Tudor courtier Thomas Cromwell. The author made history for being the first woman writer and first British author to take the prize twice.
This year’s long list features writers from seven different countries. Nominees include “Five Star Billionaire” by Tash Aw, “We Need New Names” by NoViolet Bulawayo, and “TransAtlantic” by Colum McCann.
In a statement, Robert Macfarlane, who is serving as the chair of the judging panel this year and is a writer as well as a member of the faculty at Cambridge University, noted the diversity of this year's list.
”This is surely the most diverse long list in Man Booker history: wonderfully various in terms of geography, form, length and subject," Macfarlane said. “These 13 outstanding novels range from the traditional to the experimental, from the first century AD to the present day, from 100 pages to 1,000 and from Shanghai to Hendon.”
Two writers of this year's nominees have previously appeared on the Man Booker Prize short list. Colm Tóibín, who is nominated for his novel “The Testament of Mary,” and writer Jim Crace, who received a nod for his book “Harvest,” have both been Booker nominees in the past.
Three writers – Donal Ryan of “The Spinning Heart,” NoViolet Bulawayo of “We Need New Names,” and Eve Harris of “The Marrying of Chani Kaufman” – were nominated for debut novels.
Other nominees include “The Kills” by Richard House, “A Tale for the Time Being” by Ruth Ozeki, “The Luminaries” by Eleanor Catton, “Almost English” by Charlotte Mendelson, "The Lowland" by Jhumpa Lahiri, and “Unexploded” by Alison MacLeod.
The list will be cut down to six for the short list, which will be announced in September. The prize is scheduled to be bestowed on Oct. 15.