Rohington Mistry shortlisted for Man Booker International Prize


New Delhi : Indian Canadian Rohington Mistry, the author of three acclaimed books, has been shortlisted for the 60,000 pound (around $96,000) Man Booker International Prize 2011.

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Mistry, whose 1991 book “Such a Long Journey” was withdrawn from the Mumbai University syllabus last year amidst a heated debate between the Shiv Sena and the writer, is also the author of “A Fine Balance” (1996) and “Family Matters” (2002).

All the three books had earlier been shortlisted for the Booker Prize, a statement by the Man Group, which sponsors the prize, and the Man Booker International Prize Committee said Wednesday.

The biennial Man Booker International Prize is awarded for an author’s body of works while the Booker Prize is given every year for a single book.

Mistry, a Commonwealth Writers’ Prize winner, has been honoured with Canada-based Governor General’s Award, the Giller Prize, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the Winifred Holtby Memorial Prize.

He has also won the Canadian Author’s Association Award for fiction and the Timothy Findley Award given by the Writers’ Trust of Canada.

Mistry was born in Mumbai in 1952. He migrated to Canada in 1975 after graduating in mathematics and economics from St. Xavier’s College.

Mistry’s books portray facts of Indian socio-economic life and those of the Parsi community. Many of writings are categorised as “Ino-nostalgic,” reflecting the nostalgia of Indian migrants abroad.

Three Indian writers, Arundhati Roy, Arvind Adiga and Kiran Desai, had earlier won the prestigious Man Booker prize for their books “God of Small Things”, “White Tiger” and “Inheritance of Loss” respectively.

Anita Desai, Kiran Desai’s mother, was shortlisted for the award three times.

Also, Amitav Ghosh had been shortlisted for the award for his novel “Sea of Poppies”.

The 13 authors shortlisted for the Man Booker International Prize this year include Wang Anyi, Huan Gioytisolo, James Kelman, John Le Carre, Amin Maalouf, David Malouf, Dacia Maraini, Rohington Mistry, Philip Pullman, Marilyne Robinson, Philip Roth, Su Tong and Annie Tyler.

The winner will be awarded the prize at the Sydney Writers’ Festival May 18 and later felicitated in London June 28.

In a surprise development, British espionage thriller writer John Le Carre withdrew his name from the list.

A statement issued by the author’s literary agent Curtis Brown quoting the writer, said, “I am enormously flattered to be named as a finalist of 2011 Man Booker International Prize. However, I do not compete for literary prizes and have therefore asked for my name to be withdrawn.”

Rick Gekoski, chair of the Man Booker International Prize 2011, however said, “John le Carre’s name will, of course, remain on the list. We are disappointed that he wants to withdraw from further consideration because we are great admirers of his work.”