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SA’s Damon Galgut nominated for Booker Prize

South African author Damon Galgut has been nominated for a Booker Prize for his novel, In a Strange Room alongside Australian author Peter Carey, who could scoop the prize for a record third time with his novel, Parrot and Olivier in America.

Six books are nominated for the prize, with Ireland’s Emma Donoghue (Room) and British authors Howard Jacobson (The Finkler Question), Andrea Levy (The Long Song) and Tom McCarthy (C) providing the competition.

“It’s been a great privilege and an exciting challenge for us to reduce our long list of 13 to this shortlist of six outstandingly good novels,” said Andrew Motion, Britain’s former poet laureate, who chairs the judges.

“In doing so, we feel sure we’ve chosen books that demonstrate a rich variety of styles and themes — while in every case providing deep individual pleasures.”

Carey is one of only two authors to have won the prize twice: in 1988 for Oscar and Lucinda and 2001 for True History of the Kelly Gang.

This year’s winner will be announced on October 12 at the Guildhall in London.

One of the most prestigious awards in English language literature, the annual Booker Prize goes to the best work of fiction by an author from the Commonwealth, the Republic of Ireland or Zimbabwe.

Contenders must have been published in the past year and originally written in English.

The prize comes with a winner’s cheque for £50 000 and all but guarantees worldwide readership and an upsurge in book sales.

Last year’s winner was British author Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall, a historical novel about English King Henry VIII’s adviser, Thomas Cromwell. It has since sold more than half-a-million copies in Britain alone.

Previous winners of the Booker Prize include Salman Rushdie, Kazuo Ishiguro, JM Coetzee, Iris Murdoch, William Golding, VS Naipaul, Thomas Keneally and Kingsley Amis. — AFP

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