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Man Booker shortlist includes Canadian connections

The Man Booker Prize jury has whittled down the 13-book longlist, released in July, to six titles. The shortlist is being billed as the most diverse in recent memory, and includes a pair of authors with connections to Canada.

B.C.-based author Ruth Ozeki’s A Tale for the Time Being has earned a spot on the shortlist. Published by Viking Canada in March*, Ozeki’s fourth novel follows the stories of a 16-year-old girl from Tokyo and a middle-aged writer in B.C. who is struggling to write a memoir.

Ozeki shares shortlist honours with Eleanor Catton, who was born in London, Ontario, and raised in New Zealand. Catton was nominated for her second novel, The Luminaries (McClelland & Stewart). At 28, Catton is the youngest novelist on this year’s shortlist. Her first novel, The Rehearsal, won the Amazon First Novel Award in 2011.

The Man Booker shortlist includes two other women: African-American author Noviolet Bulawayo for her novel We Need New Names, and Indian-American author Jhumpa Lahiri for her second novel, The Lowlands. Lahiri’s debut short-story collection, Interpreter of Maladies, won the 2000 Pulitzer Prize for fiction.

The list is rounded out by Harvest author Jim Crace, who was also shortlisted for the prize in 1997 for Quarantine, and Irish novelist Colm Tóibín for The Testament of Mary.

This year’s jury comprises Robert Macfarlane, Robert Douglas-Fairhust, Natalie Haynes, Martha Kearney, and Stuart Kelley. The winner will be announced Oct. 15.

*Correction Sept. 13: An earlier version of this post misidentified the publisher and publication date of Ruth Ozeki’s A Tale for the Time Being.