Man Booker Prize 2013 shortlist announced

10 September 2013

Man Booker Prize for Fiction: 2013 shortlist announced

NoViolet Bulawayo, Eleanor Catton, Jim Crace, Jhumpa Lahiri, Ruth Ozeki and Colm Tóibín are today, Tuesday 10 September, announced as the shortlisted authors for the 2013 Man Booker Prize for Fiction.

At the time of the longlist, Chair of judges Robert Macfarlane praised the diversity of the books in contention for the prize as ‘wonderfully various in terms of geography, form, length and subject’. This remains true of the shortlist, with the six writers hailing from across the globe: Canada, Britain, Ireland, New Zealand and, for the first time in the prize’s history, Zimbabwe.

The six books, whittled down from a longlist of 13, are:

Author: Title (Publisher)
NoViolet Bulawayo We Need New Names (Chatto & Windus)
Eleanor Catton The Luminaries (Granta)
Jim Crace Harvest (Picador)
Jhumpa Lahiri The Lowland (Bloomsbury)
Ruth Ozeki A Tale for the Time Being (Canongate)
Colm Tóibín The Testament of Mary (Viking)


The shortlist was announced by Robert Macfarlane, at a press conference held at the Man Group’s London headquarters. He comments:

‘Global in its reach, this exceptional shortlist demonstrates the vitality and range of the contemporary novel at its finest. These six superb works of fiction take us from gold-rush New Zealand to revolutionary Calcutta, from modern-day Japan to the Holy Land of the Gospels, and from Zimbabwe to the deep English countryside. World-spanning in their concerns, and ambitious in their techniques, they remind us of the possibilities and power of the novel as a form.’

Two writers have appeared on the shortlist before: Jim Crace was shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 1997 for Quarantine (Viking), while Colm Tóibín has been shortlisted twice: for The Blackwater Lightship in 1999 and in 2004 with The Master.

It is the first time each of the four female writers has been nominated for the prize. They count amongst them a Buddhist priest (Ozeki), a member of Barack Obama’s President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities (Lahiri) and the first Zimbabwean writer to make the shortlist (Bulawayo). Eleanor Catton, who will be 28 at the time of the winner announcement, is the youngest on the shortlist.

Macfarlane was joined at the shortlist press conference by the four other members of the 2013 Man Booker Prize judging panel: the renowned broadcaster Martha Kearney; critic, academic and prize-winning biographer, Robert Douglas-Fairhurst; broadcaster, classicist and critic, Natalie Haynes and Stuart Kelly, essayist and former literary editor of Scotland on Sunday. The judges now have just over a month to re-read the shortlisted titles and select one winner, who will be announced on 15 October 2013 at the winner’s ceremony at London’s Guildhall.

In the meantime, the six authors are due to appear at a number of public events in the run up to the winner announcement. They include: an event for members of the public and UK library staff at the newly opened Library of Birmingham on Wednesday 9 October; a talk and signing at The Times Cheltenham Literature Festival on Saturday 12 October and an audience with the authors at the Southbank Centre on Sunday 13 October, hosted by broadcaster Mark Lawson. Finally, there will be an audience with the winner at Apple’s Regent Street branch on Thursday 17 October.

At the ceremony, which will be broadcast by the BBC, the six authors will each be presented with a cheque for £2,500 and a hand-bound edition of their book, prepared by some of the UK’s leading bookbinders. In addition, the winner receives £50,000.

2013 marks the 45th year of the Man Booker Prize. It was first awarded to P.H. Newby for Something to Answer For in 1969. Last year’s winner, Hilary Mantel, has made history as the first woman and the first British author to win the prize twice. Her two winning novels – Bring Up the Bodies and Wolf Hall – have sold over 1.5 million copies. She is the first Man Booker Prize winning author to take the number spot in the official UK Top 50, with the mass-market edition of Bring Up the Bodies.

Further information about the prize can be found on the Man Booker Prize website Daily updates are available on Twitter @ManBookerPrize / #ManBookerPrize.


For all press enquiries please contact:

Amy Barder or Katy MacMillan-Scott at Four Colman Getty
020 3697 4251/ 07956 337231 (Amy)
020 3697 4253/ 07786 567887 (Katy)


Notes to Editors

  • The six shortlisted books were chosen from a longlist of 13 books. They were:
Author: Title (Publisher)
Tash Aw Five Star Billionaire (Fourth Estate)
NoViolet Bulawayo We Need New Names (Chatto & Windus)
Eleanor Catton The Luminaries (Granta)
Jim Crace Harvest (Picador)
Eve Harris The Marrying of Chani Kaufman (Sandstone Press)
Richard House The Kills (Picador)
Jhumpa Lahiri The Lowland (Bloomsbury)
Alison MacLeod Unexploded (Hamish Hamilton)
Colum McCann TransAtlantic (Bloomsbury)
Charlotte Mendelson Almost English (Mantle)
Ruth Ozeki A Tale for the Time Being (Canongate)
Donal Ryan The Spinning Heart (Doubleday Ireland)
Colm Tóibín The Testament of Mary (Viking)
  • The longlisted books were selected from a total of 151 titles, 14 of which were called in by the judges
  • Each year UK publishers may submit two full-length novels written by a citizen of the Commonwealth, the Republic of Ireland or Zimbabwe and published between 1 October 2012 and 30 September 2013. Any title by an author who has previously been shortlisted for the prize may be submitted
  • Hilary Mantel won the 2012 Man Booker Prize for Fiction with Bring Up the Bodies (Fourth Estate). The book has now sold over half a million copies in the UK in hard copy alone
  • The Man Booker Prize for Fiction was first awarded in 1969 and has been sponsored by the Man Group since 2002. The long-term future of the prize was secured in 2011 with the announcement of a renewed 10 year sponsorship from the Man Group. The title ‘Booker Prize’ therefore only applies to prize years 1969 – 2001, before Man Group plc’s sponsorship began. It would be greatly appreciated if you could ensure that your editorial is factually correct by referring to the prize’s full title at least once, if not in the headline, then in your next subsequent mention. For a full history of the prize including previous winners, shortlisted authors and judges visit the website:
  • The Booker Prize Foundation Advisory Committee, which advises on any changes to the rules and on the selection of the judges, represents all aspects of the book world. Its members are:

    Ion Trewin, Chair (Literary Director, Booker Prize Foundation); Richard Cable, publisher; Mark Chilton, Company Secretary and General Counsel of Booker Group plc; Emmanuel Roman, Chief Executive, Man; Jonathan Douglas, Director of the National Literacy Trust; Maggie Fergusson, writer and Secretary of the Royal Society of Literature; Basil Comely, BBC TV; Derek Johns, literary agent; Peter Kemp, Chief Fiction Reviewer, The Sunday Times; James Daunt, Managing Director of Waterstones; Nigel Newton, publisher; Fiammetta Rocco, literary editor, The Economist (Man Booker International Prize Administrator); Eve Smith (Company Secretary, the Booker Prize Foundation); and Robert Topping; Topping & Company Booksellers.

  • The Booker Prize Foundation is a registered charity (no 1090049) which, since 2002, has been responsible for the award of the prize. The trustees of the Booker Prize Foundation are former Chairman of Booker plc, Jonathan Taylor CBE (Chair); Lord Baker of Dorking CH; writer, critic and broadcaster, Bidisha; playwright and President of the Royal Literary Fund, Sir Ronald Harwood CBE; former Chair of the British Council and Principal of Mansfield College, Oxford, Baroness Kennedy QC; Professor of Creative Writing, Royal Holloway College University of London and former Poet Laureate, Sir Andrew Motion; broadcaster, James Naughtie; biographer, Victoria Glendinning CBE and former Finance Director of Rentokil plc, Christopher Pearce. Martyn Goff CBE, former Man Booker Prize administrator, is President of the Foundation and Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne and Baroness Neuberger are Vice Presidents.
  • Man is a world-leading alternative investment management business. It has expertise in a wide range of liquid investment styles including managed futures, equity, credit and convertibles, emerging markets, global macro and multi-manager, combined with powerful product structuring, distribution and client service capabilities. As at 30 June 2013, Man managed $52.0 billion.

    The original business was founded in 1783. Today, Man is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a member of the FTSE 250 Index with a market capitalisation of around £1.5 billion. Man is a signatory to the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI). Man also supports many awards, charities and initiatives around the world, including sponsoring the Man Booker literary prizes. Further information can be found at

  • Booker is the UK's leading food wholesaler with over 170 branches nationwide. It serves over 350,000 independent businesses
  • The Booker Prize Foundation has a longstanding partnership with the RNIB, and the Foundation funds the production by RNIB of the shortlist in formats for the visually impaired including braille, giant print and Talking Books
  • The Booker Prize Archive was given on loan in 2003 to Oxford Brookes University where it now resides. Materials from the archive were displayed for the first time this summer in the University’s new Glass Tank exhibition space. The exhibition was curated by Gallery Manager and Exhibitions Curator Dr Joanna Walker with assistance from Archivist Eleanor Possart and a small team of undergraduate students.

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