Indian Writers Dominate ‘Asian Booker’ Longlist


NEW DELHI – Five novels by Indian writers, including Amitav Ghosh and Tarun Tejpal, figure in this year’s Man Asian Literary Prize longlist.

The other Indians in the fray for the award, considered by many as the Asian Booker, are Jahnavi Barua (“Rebirth”), Anuradha Roy (“The Folded Earth”) and Rahul Bhattacharya (“The Sly Company of People Who Care”). Ghosh’s novel “River of Smoke” is competing against Tejpal’s “The Valley of Masks”.

Other writers who complete the list include: Tahmima Anam ( Bangladesh, “The Good Muslim”), Jamil Ahmad ( Pakistan, “The Wandering Falcon”), Mahmoud Dowlatabadi ( Iran, “The Colonel”), Haruki Murakami (Japan, “1Q84”), Kyung-sook Shin (South Korea , “Please Look After Mom”), Yan Lianke (China, “Dream of Ding Village”), Banana Yoshimoto (Japan, “The Lake”).

Featuring works of epic proportions, the books deal with a wide range of subjects including the Opium Wars, the Iranian revolution, the rise of fundamentalism, the plight of AIDS sufferers in China as well as exploring relationships between the individual and family, parent and child.

“It was a pleasant surprise and a great honour to be included with Amitav Ghosh and Haruki Murakami and other wonderful writers on the list,” Bangalore-based Barua said. Ninety books were submitted for entry in 2011. The shortlist will be announced on January 10, 2012, and the winner will be named on March 15 in Hong Kong.