LONDON: Indian novelist Kiran Desai, who won the prestigious Booker Prize last year for The Inheritance of Loss, is in the running for another major literary award, the Orange Broadband Prize for Fiction.
Britain’s annual book award for fiction written by women, the Orange prize announced its shortlist on 16 April featuring writers from India, Britain, Nigeria, China and the United States and ranging from established authors to newcomers.
Desai became the youngest woman to win the Booker in 2006 for her story of an embittered judge who wants to retire in peace in the Himalayas but whose life is turned upside down by the arrival of his orphaned granddaughter.
The Inheritance of Loss is Desai’s second novel. She once credited US President George W. Bush for her Booker Prize victory, saying that he had put her off becoming an American citizen.
Jane Harris, born in Belfast, is on the six-name shortlist for The Observations, her first novel that follows Bessy Buckley from Glasgow to a large house in Edinburgh where she works for the beautiful but mysterious Arabella.
Nigeria’s Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie was nominated for her second novel, Half of a Yellow Sun. Her first novel Purple Hibiscus was shortlisted for the Orange prize in 2004.
Half of a Yellow Sun is set in Nigeria in the 1960s at the time of the Nigeria-Biafra war and describes how three characters are swept up in rapidly unfolding events.
Also on the shortlist for the second time is Pulitzer Prize-winning US author Anne Tyler, whose Digging to America explores cultural differences in American society.
Briton Rachel Cusk’s Arlington Park is set in a modern-day English suburb on a single rainy day, moving from household to household and examining characters’ anxieties beneath the veneer of ordinariness.
Xiaolu Guo of China rounds off the list with her romantic comedy, written in deliberately bad English, called A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers.
The winner will be announced at an award ceremony in London on June 6 and will receive a cheque for 30,000 pounds (Rs26.4 lakh).