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Mahasweta Devi, Naipaul named as Booker contenders

Posted on 19 Mar 2009 | IANS

London, March 18 : Veteran Bengali writer Mahasweta Devi and Britain-based Indian-origin author Sir Vidya Naipaul were Wednesday named in the long list of the 60,000 pound third Man Booker International prize.

They were among 14 authors from 12 countries - seven them writers in translation - who have been named in the judge's list of contenders.

Mahasweta Devi, who is based in Santiniketan in West Bengal, is among India's foremost writers and a well-known activist for the rights of indigenous peoples. She writes in Bengali.

The 14 authors on the list are: Peter Carey (Australia), Evan S. Connell (USA), Mahasweta Devi (India), E.L. Doctorow (USA), James Kelman (UK), Mario Vargas Llosa (Peru), Arno�t Lustig (Czechoslovakia), Alice Munro (Canada), V.S. Naipaul (Trinidad/India), Joyce Carol Oates (USA), Antonio Tabucchi (Italy), Ngugi Wa Thiong'O (Kenya), and Dubravka Ugresic (Croatia), Ludmila Ulitskaya (Russia).

The judging panel for the Man Booker International Prize 2009 is: Jane Smiley, writer; Amit Chaudhuri, writer, academic and musician; and writer, film script writer and essayist, Andrey Kurkov.

Smiley said, "We've all read books by authors we had never heard of before and they have turned out to be some of the best books we've ever read. I am thrilled with the list we have come up with. It makes me wonder who else is out there untranslated into English."

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